Aviation

Airline apologises for ‘blackface’ ad imitating former president Barack Obama

Alitalia has been accused of racism after posting an ad on social media featuring a white actor wearing blackface and pretending to be Barack Obama.

The airline has since pulled down and apologised for the ad, which featured a non-black actor in heavy makeup, including accentuated lips and an enlarged nose, posing as the former US President.

At first, Alitalia claimed the ad wasn’t racist after Leonardo De Franceschi, a media and cinema researcher at the University of Rome, criticised the ad.

“The actor we cast is not Caucasian, we used the makeup to change his facial features, not his skin colour,” a spokesperson for the airline told Al-Jazeera.

But before and after images of the actor posted by France’s BFMTV channel tell a different story.

Alitalia’s social media manager also defended the ad, claiming they met many American tourists while shooting the ad and no one raised “this issue”.

The ad was part of a four-part series advertising a new non-stop route from Rome to Washington DC, according to Al-Jazeera. Other videos in the series feature actors playing President Donald Trump, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.

After it eventually removed the video, the airline said it was deeply sorry and never intended to hurt anyone.

“For our Company, respect for everyone is mandatory, it was never our intention to hurt anyone and we will learn from what has happened,” the airline said on Facebook and Twitter.

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Technology

Julie King launches global platform for industry learning and collaboration

The new platform will host a FREE 10-week webinar series, so you’re practically losing money if you don’t attend. At least, that’s our understanding.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Corporate Travel Management raises $262m to help fund US acquisition

Much to the delight of CTM’s executives, investors have wasted no time snapping up newly-offered shares in the company.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Cruise Wrap: Carnival reveals Mardi Gras atrium plans, Silversea revamps online training + MORE

This week’s Cruise Wrap is so hefty, we reckon that if each letter weighed a tonne, it would equate to a 4,000-pax ship. However, we’re not mathematicians and we also haven’t made any effort to count each individual letter.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Europe’s biggest airline posts spoof job ad attacking Irish government’s travel restrictions

The airline has suggested a high school student could do a better job at choosing which countries make it on Irelands ‘Green List’ by playing darts and snap. Ouch.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

‘Hotspot’ plan could allow Kiwis to enter Australia without quarantining: Ardern

by Christian Fleetwood

New Zealand’s PM has advanced talks on the creation of a trans-Tasman ‘bubble’ with Australia and, by the sound of it, ScoMo’s the one dragging the chain.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Agents Zoom with Health Minister Greg Hunt as part of AFTA’s National Mobilisation Program

The Health Minister attended a Zoom meeting with 30 travel agencies who briefed him on AFTA’s request for tailored financial support. However, it’s not known how many agents were actually wearing pants.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

APT Group launches low-cost domestic and New Zealand tours

Are your clients itching to explore their own backyard, but have been hit financially by COVID-19? This might be just what they’re looking for.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

WA to soften quarantine requirements for arrivals from Victoria, NSW

by Christian Fleetwood

He’s been a pretty tough nut to crack since WA introduced some harsh border restrictions, but it now appears Marky Mark McGowan is beginning to soften up.

Share

CommentComments

Events

Travel DAZE 2020 speaker spotlight: Bruce Poon Tip, G Adventures

Entrepreneur, philanthropist and G Adventures founder Bruce Poon Tip will be gracing the virtual Travel DAZE stage this year. And, as you’ll discover here, he’s got quite the CV.

Share

CommentComments

Midweek Interview

Life in the time of COVID-19 with Club Med’s Zoe Gentle

Club Med’s business development manager answered Travel Weekly’s interview questions in the form of an impromptu sing-a-long. Click here to read our interpretation.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

A Japanese airline is trialling hands-free toilet doors

The ‘elbow doorknob’ first began trials in mid-June and appears to be a much smarter solution than kicking the toilet door down or just leaving it open.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Ardent Leisure hit with record $3.6m fine over Dreamworld tragedy

Ardent Leisure has been handed what it has described as “the largest fine in Queensland history for a workplace tragedy”.

Share

CommentComments