July 7th, 2006

NAACP, Yee Condemn Sony's PSP White Ads

The flames of controversy surrounding Sony's European PSP White ad campaign just got a bit hotter.

GamePolitics has learned that the San Jose/Silicon Valley NAACP Chapter has voiced a protest over the racially-charged ads, one of which depicts a blonde woman dressed in white squeezing the face of a black woman dressed in dark clothing with the caption, "PlayStation Portable White is Coming."

"The days of blacks being portrayed in minstrel shows are long gone, and with good reason," said Rick Callender, chapter president. "The minstrel show was an awful chapter in history and this ad smacks of that age and time. It is even further unacceptable that some corporations still think it is okay to use racially charged media images. The latest Sony ad conjures up bad memories of when stereotypical and offensive images of people of color were accepted means of selling a product. Sony should immediately apologize and discontinue these archaic, advertising tactics."

Callender's remarks were contained in a press release issued late yesterday by California Assembly Speaker pro Tem Leland Yee (D), author of California's contested video game violence law. Yee also expressed concern over the PSP White ads, saying, "I am deeply disappointed in Sony's senseless decision to publish this racially-charged advertisement. I can't begin to determine Sony's motivation but I believe this marketing strategy is unnecessary and is clearly offensive to many in our community."

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