Heineken has removed a commercial for its light beer from TV and online platforms after online backlash saying that it was racist and insensitive.
As reported by Chicago Tribune, the advert featured a bartender sliding a bottle of Heineken Light across a bar. The beer bottle passes several people of color before a lighter-skinned woman of color picks it up. The tagline at the end of the 30-second commercial read, “Sometimes, lighter is better.”
There was an outcry from many people saying the ad was upholding colorism and was very racist in its messaging. The negative attention increased after rap star Chance the Rapper chimed in on the conversation, calling the ad “terribly racist.” He went on to say he thought at this point companies were purposely “putting out noticeably racist ads so they can get more views.”
Other companies, such as H&M and Dove have also had to address content that was perceived to be racist.
The beer company addressed the ad “missing the mark” in a statement.
“For decades, Heineken has developed diverse marketing that shows there’s more that unites us than divides us. While we feel the ad is referencing our Heineken Light beer, we missed the mark, are taking the feedback to heart and will use this to influence future campaigns.”
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Christina Santi is a news and culture writer for EBONY.com. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, she considers herself a well-read, not so traditional feminist with a heavy interest in music, fashion and pop culture. Christina currently lives in New York City, where she refers to her Cuban & Jamaican descent often while writing about her experiences as a first-generation Afro-Latinx in America. She also devotes time writing personalized reading material for her tutees and turning ideas into words for streetwear brand, PUER By Noel Bronson.