June 18, 2014

Outrage Erupts Over Racist Hong Kong Ad Featuring A Filipina Maid With Curly Hair And Black Face

A Malaysian bank has produced a video advertisement targeting the Hong Kong market which has irked a lot of people. The advertisement which featured a supposed Filipina domestic worker has been tagged by netizens as racist, tasteless and insensitive. This is partly because the Filipina maid was portrayed by a male actor, her hair was a huge mess, and her face was painted with dark make-up.

The advertisement was targeting the employers of the hundreds of thousands of domestic helpers that currently work in Hong Kong. The most recent estimate is that there are about 300,000 maids in Hong Kong. Majority of them are from the Philippines and Indonesia. The maid in the advertisement was named Maria so it's clear that she was supposed to be Filipina.

Hong Leong, the bank behind the advertisement, has taken down the ad from their website after the outrage caused by it. So far, they haven't released a statement concerning the issue. Copies of the advertisement however are circulating online. Someone has uploaded it on YouTube and you can watch it below:
People who were outraged by the advertisement went online to voice out their displeasure. The official Hong Leong Bank Facebook page received comments and messages concerning the issue. The popular HongWrong blog has also covered the controversial ad complete with screenshots. See HongWrong's blog post here.

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