A newly banned ad from the European Commission titled “Growing Together” managed to ruffle a few feathers, due to its arguably racist portrayal of the national identities of China, India and Brazil as fearsome martial arts warriors surrounding a lovely-cheekboned white lady in peril (her imagined capture would result in the colonization of her discount bargain events and universities, presumably) who looks like a shanzhai Uma Thurman from Kill Bill (thanks Bruce!).
The Guardian reports:
The woman stares at the men. She then multiplies herself to form a circle around the men who drop their weapons and sit down. The woman’s yellow outfit then turns into the stars of the EU.
The video shows the words: “The more we are, the stronger we are.” It then says: “Click here to learn more about EU enlargement.”
Raoul Ruparel, of Open Europe, said: “This was an ill-advised move by the European Commission. It is strange because normally there is something of the Kum Ba Yah about the commission. But it has produced a video which shows a white female being threatened by foreign men with weapons. This is in dubious taste and judgment.
“We also question whether it was necessary to produce the video in the first place. We are in favour of EU enlargement but we are not sure that making viral videos is the best way to go about that.”
For their part, the group who produced the clip claimed they were merely just trying to target a young audience who better understood “the plots and themes of martial arts films and video games.”
We thought that someone deserved a bonus for this geopolitics-as-Street Fighter concept (“Here comes a new challenger!”). Shanzhai Uma turning into the EU circle of stars, which has secretly been a hidden symbol of diplomatic containment all this time? Classic.
And the kung fu sounds were definitely the right way to go. Nothing can convey “I am a choppa socky yew in da chestah!” like a piercing kung fu yelp.
However, upon further consideration, we now think of the clip as a failure.
Contrary to what Raoul Ruparel of Open Europe says, the clip is incredibly Kum Ba Ya. The shanzhai Uma in the clip, rather than fighting, expects everyone to literally sit in a circle and join their hearts in campfire song.
No, the EU doesn’t have any fighting skills the clip insinuates, but what she can do is surround and outnumber China, India, and Brazil in a diplomatic circle, and bust out deadly special moves like the Hector-Badger Combo.
What kind of message does that send on behalf of the continent that invented modern warfare? Really now.