Sony's white PSP ad draws more fire

California Assemblyman Leland Yee says publisher "stoops to new low" with billboard; NAACP representative calls for ad to be pulled.

A Sony PSP ad promoting the new Ceramic White model of the system in the Netherlands is causing an international stir. Gaming Web sites and message boards have lit up with debate over the ad this week after a picture went up on digitalbattle.com, and now California Assemblyman Leland Yee and the San Jose/Silicon Valley chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) have made their feelings on the issue known.

In a statement titled "Sony stoops to new low with racially charged ad," Yee said he was "deeply disappointed" in the publisher's decision to run the ad, which features a white woman holding a black woman by the jaw in a threatening manner. Sony has said the ad, one in a series that features the white woman promoting the system in a variety of ways, was designed to show the contrast between the colors of the new and old PSPs, and has "no other message or purpose."

"Whether in the US or abroad, using differences in skin color to articulate the fact that your video game console now comes in white can be interpreted as insensitive at best and racist at worst," Yee said.

Rick Callender, president of the San Jose/Silicon Valley chapter of the NAACP, echoed Yee's displeasure.

"The days of blacks being portrayed in minstrel shows are long gone, and with good reason," Callender said. "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 ok 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."

This is not the first time Yee has taken exception to actions in the gaming industry. He authored California's violent game restriction law (currently being challenged in the courts), and was among the first to call for a rerating of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas as a result of the Hot Coffee scandal.

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Discussion

1324 comments
ColdfireTrilogy
ColdfireTrilogy

Doesnt stir up anything in me ... only people who look at the world like these sue happy freaks see stuff like this as "racially charged"

Aragorn33
Aragorn33

If it really was racist, why aren't there any other signs of it from Sony? They make stupid and controversial advertising on purpose, just so they can garner more attention.

brimike3
brimike3

As a black person and NAACP am disapointed that MR. Yee is wasting his valuable time with a PSP ad...it's not important...but racist, yeah...we have better things to worry about regardless... but it's kinda difficult to take offense, when the NAACP has already done such a great job GETTING BLACK PEOPLE FEEDOM AND RIGHTS!!!!

comboz
comboz

why praise the ad? yes it turns heads but if I just glance at it doesn't add up to me. why would there be conflict between a new color of psp and an old color? Another thing I'd like to say about some of the responses is that many people think that Europeans don't have racial issues too, which is silly. But I have to disagree a bit with it being a thowback to minstrel shows.

The_Tombo
The_Tombo

this is the most pathetic thing I have ever seen! When I looked at the pic I had to struggle to see anything racist .. people need lives.

iaag784
iaag784

People get so caught up in racial crap. It's pretty sad actually. I doubt this ad was meant to be racist.

Staryoshi87
Staryoshi87

Political correctness is a plague onto mankind...

FlameMe
FlameMe

In America this add probably wouldn't fly, but this is a European ad with a different culture and mind set. I'm not saying if the ad is right or wrong but it is not the NAACP or Leland Yee's place to try and change it. Leland Yee is always looking for any excuse he can to call out racism. Honestly, looking at the advertisement myself I wouldnt have interpreted anything racist about it. But you will always have ppl who complain about everything and will never be happy. Next Time I hope that Yee can find something better to cry about then a billboard

Jabucket13
Jabucket13

Given the fact that it's a European ad makes it hard to decide whether or not it was racially driven. I know it's a little easier to throw an ad like that up over there without giving it a second thought. So maybe that's more of a cultural thing. If it were an ad for the US the black chick/white chick concept would have never been an option. Either way I don't think it says too much about Sony as it does the specific marketing team for that region. They're the ones responsible. At any rate why is a california assembly man worried about a European ad? How did he even come across it?

HXCDEW
HXCDEW

This is not all Sony's fault, they are a large corporation and a minor section of that marketing sector may have made that mistake, perhaps unintentionally. People just look for a scapegoat to load the burden of their own racial hatred on other companies. Has is occurred to anyone the ad could be designed by an ad agency and not Sony?

Some_One_Plays
Some_One_Plays

Well the main people of Sony are Asian and first generation Chinese are racist to blacks. I'm not surprised that they would eventually put an add like that. Don't get me wrong I'm not saying all of them are but nowadays the Asians are more racist then white people. Chances of an Asian person moving away or acting up if a family member is dating a black person is higher. If a black person was with a white person their family would most likely wouldn't care as long as they're happy. I'm not a racist I live in Canada so I grew up with many different cultures so I have no hatred to anyone of any race. So I'm sorry if I offended anyone because that wasn't what I was trying to do. I have family with all races and the Asian side told me about the generation thing. All the other stuff is just experiences that I had.

ncrbiolgxhy
ncrbiolgxhy

Yeah, like a japanese firm is really all that neo-nazi. It's advertising, it's supposed to turn heads.

seth1689
seth1689

man if u ppl r calling this racism cause of a white psp get over cause ppl could think the same with only a black psp lol but im not im i dont really like the white it looks to plain lol the black is perfect but it only need to b less fingerprintable lol but ya i dont c how anyone could b offended by this

GeminiEntity
GeminiEntity

Memory cards are expensive? Nintendo GC doesn't use memory cards? Xbox 360 isn't cheaper without a HD, meaning memory card is cheaper from the get go? Hmm, someone is clueless.

doubtme
doubtme

Sony is lame, I hope PS3 is a bust, because honestly, I've always hated them, they cheat people of their money, when PS one first came out, it was 00o0 and ahh because it was a disc and "better graphics" but you couldnt play one game without have to go spend MORE money on a memory card, my friends spent WEEKS of allowances on that crap, and it just keeps getting worse, same with PSP, honestly it's a suckers market, I would rather stick with XBox and nintendo all the way, because you don't NEED a memory card for those systems unless you want it for convince when you are sleeping over at a friends house. Screw Playstation and their supercilious ego!

mysticssj5gohan
mysticssj5gohan

Because racism should not be tolerated anywhere... I don't care if it was in Europe or not. It could be an Asia, Africa, North America, South America, hell it could be in Antartica as far as I'm concerned. Racism is unacceptable in any way shape or form.

og8440
og8440

I'll bet money the NAACP wouldn't have said anything if the person were asian or hispanic instead of black in that ad. And did it occur to anyone why are we getting pissy over an ad in Europe?

judgepeter813
judgepeter813

Sony is soooo stupid. They always are having controversial advertisements. And now, they can't even advertise the psp without using puppets or racial comments. Why do people take this **** from sony? They should really have a class action lawsuit... I should have never bought a psp... huuuge waste of money. And the ps3 is going to be horrible.

MasterAsh42
MasterAsh42

Granted this is coming from a person who to this day didn't understand how others find Ren & Stimpy or Xena rife with homosexuality back in their respective days, but if I had seen this billboard outside of an article reporting on the racial controversy its started, I honestly would not have made any possible connections with it to racism. Of course, now knowing of the fervor its caused, I find difficulty in not seeing racist elements in it. . .My point being I can see how some could folks could actually interpret this as it was intended: as advertisement for a new color of PSP. Only some folks, mind you. Normal folks. Not a group of marketting and promotions folks for a multi-billion dollar, world-wide corporation. Those guys are paid to be smarter than this. . .

GeminiEntity
GeminiEntity

FighterHayabusa - It would seem you are quite racist with some of those remarks. Care to say hypocrite? ColossusKiller - Sony's gone? I doubt that, seeing as how they do more than just gaming. So yea, they have money just like Microsoft to back them up. Honestly, stop being a fanboy and realize all the companies make some great systems with great games.

jigga9788
jigga9788

this ad is not really racist id say..but it is sort of in bad taste someone really diddnt think this one thru

ColossusKiller
ColossusKiller

Sony's gone. For god's sake! Why do people take small cracks at them. They will be gone soon! HURRAH!

KufuuDAI
KufuuDAI

Ok, this is NOT racist. God, people are so childish these days...

Shadow230990
Shadow230990

Just give in Sony. You're finished. Controversy won't get you anywhere.

mac_ronin
mac_ronin

hey u guys i just heard u talkin about this issue in the hotspot well i live in the netherlands and i had a discussion about this issue in my country with lots of people as in LOTS of people we had an debate about games an violence and racial slurs in any case this was not in issue in our country and i started this debate about this compaign and im a black so no, im not even touched i can imagine that in amercia like carrie and alex said like after seeing ONE part of the AD people might flip out but no it wasnt even like that outhere and we have the ad in several cities some parts in the country had the one part-ad of it but i didnt even hear people complain about to make it even more funnier NOBODY EVEN LOOKED AT IT THAT WAY they just saw the ad, black n white people and they were like DUDE IMMA GET THAT !!!! it just became a topic of discussion after i brought it up and to hear their views but most comments were like "well i can imagine that in amerca and their history this would be a real issue" but for real here in europe and especially the netherlands we are more openminded and thinking things clear sometimes even to clear about things if u ask me but still nothing happend it didnt hit the news or the biggest game magazines outhere or whatever and i know because i keep track of everything when it comes to games out here in europe im sorta like u guys but a oneman army hhaha but in any case there's your answer ! te salut ! mac

Hollaback_Girl
Hollaback_Girl

Anyone that finds this in any way racist is immature and childish. Clearly if they are thinking this as a way to offend the Blacks in this world it isnt. Because this is just a silly little advertisement and thinking that Sony is stating that there is a new colour. I'm sure no one cares about the colour of their skin! Seriously the one's that think that Sony are using a racial advertisement have to think 'Why do I find this Racist' then you will realise that thinking of such disgusting thoughts at a look of an 'Innocent' billboard. I'm Hollaback_Girl signing off!

GeminiEntity
GeminiEntity

adamfirefist - Your numbers reflect a lot more than just whites which you even posted. Why would you even use that number to negate my post? You either didn't read it all, or don't understand how that is not fair in this talk. And to note, I live in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Black and white people are both very common to see when walking anywhere. Also, watch sports more often. Namely football, basketball and baseball to see how black people are a normal part of this world just like white people. There is no difference between white people and black people anymore aside from the few racist freaks who either cry it or support it.

robert13007
robert13007

Well if Sony would stop their sweat shops in China maybe they would get my respect but nnnooooo.

neoteny
neoteny

the ad is funny as hell!!! but its a shame. yeah. very shameful.

darshanmj
darshanmj

questions and lawsuits must be directed at the ADVERTISING agency that cooked it up i guess the picture is to be blamed and also the birdbrained poophead (no offence to avians and stool) that came up with the inappropriatedness. if the white P!S-P& is in the spotlight shouldnt we look at the colors of the n.a_n-o? viva freedom of expression i would like to add that the models indicate 'a sexually charged' situation like 'she wants to eat him' aka '-blam!-' btw does NAACP have a say in an advert on a hoarding in nederlands(will have to look that up in maps.google.com) and isnt Sony a japanese/korean/global/multinational company?

-cReaTioN-
-cReaTioN-

Those who look at the ad and see only race, are in turn, the racist ones. Those who look at the ad as an expression of advertising art, are in turn, the politically correct ones. Slavery is over. Move on.

bromanct
bromanct

Just because someone tells you something is racist does not mean it is. I'm mature enough and modern enough to be able to see the humor in all our differences. I really wish pollitically correct nannies would STFU and go be bitter about something else.

hart704
hart704

My fellow Americans, please stop whining about an ad that's in the Netherlands. A whole one person in that country was upset enough to call in about it. It's advertising a new color for the PSP. It's as simple as that. Stop making everything so damn complicated.

red_comet
red_comet

look at your name "animefreak0118" looks to me like YOU need to get on with your life lol. how could you not see that this ad is seriously messed up depicting a white woman holding a black girl in a vicious manner like she was going to turn to violence and the slogan in the ad says "white is coming" and the black girl is posing as if in fear and submission to the white woman.

animefreak0118
animefreak0118

All I have to say is people need to stop whining about stupid stuff. I can't believe that people get so pissed about this. Who cares if a white woman is gripping a black womans face threateningly. Do you think the black woman would have done this if she thought it was racist. Everyone who is getting pissed about this is an idiot and needs to get on with thier life.

JoziePop
JoziePop

Look at the ad. It shows a white woman intending to physically harm a black woman (or vice versa on other ads). This particular ad is clearly saying that white is much better than black, and that wouldn't be bad if it were a picture of the PSP's with drawn on legs and arms fighting. They made the mistake of using two different races and making one out to appear superior. Look at advertisements for Black & White when it was first coming out, no one ever thought any of those ads were racial.

MegaShoe
MegaShoe

Are there not more important things that need attention? Anyway, things are only as 'racist' as the accuser. If a person sees this as racist, then maybe they are the one who should look in the mirror and stop trying to baby, belittle, and exploit incidents such as these to appear moral or as if they are attempting to help communities by hindering out right to freedom of expression. In my opinion, a racial issue is all this kind of individuals see when they interpret this, not the message trying to be conveyed, which, in turn, tells a little something about them. And kudos to SONY for not anticipating the reprocussions of using the advertisement. And one last thing: Yee is an idiot who should worry about more important things. And the NAACP needs to be abolished. In case no one has noticed, the Civil Rights Movement is over; they ARE NOT needed now (And they still use 'Colored' in their acronymn).

tigerfan17
tigerfan17

Cool! A new white PSP! Yes the ad is stupid but I'm definetly getting the one of the new white ones.

netopix
netopix

the advert is stupid, but atleast that chic has a nice body

overlord_101
overlord_101

I understand the need for the enforcement for racial and discrimination laws, I myself have been abused verbally in a racist manner. However, I also understand that once the matter is resolved and changed, people should not dwell too much on the issue, or react too harshly. This is because it can result in backlashes and alienation of communities, since the attention of such a group often becomes absorbed by the media. Its good at least people are keeping their eyes open for issues such as this anyway.

Newsboy
Newsboy

This one is surprising to me. SONY had to have known ahead of time this advertisement would create controversy...perhaps this is all a pathetic attempt to create free publicity for PSP.

docwoo
docwoo

First of all, I do agree that the NAACP sometimes needs to pick better battles to fight, but I also think that Sony should have seen this coming. Either Sony created this ad on purpose, or they've got some really DUMB people running their advertising department! After looking at the ad, I can definitely see how the ad could be perceived as offensive. Certainly, Sony was excercising its freedom of speech, but this freedom works both ways: people are also free to disagree and speak out AGAINST it! We all seem to forget that it was only about 40 years ago that racism and segregation were at the top of America's political agenda. I, for one, know PLENTY of people who personally experienced the turmoil of that time. Think about it....that wasn't very long ago. Secondly, I know this may be a shock to some of you, but just because you don't see people wearing white hoods and burning crosses, it does not mean racism doesn't still exhist. Racism is sublte and very real! For example, only about 2% of the CEO's in the United States are African American. Do you really think it's because an entire population of 35 million people simply have no dreams or aspirations of being CEO's? Or could it be that there are certain other "hidden" factors involved? Finally, despite the controversy, the PSP is still a waste of money. I know several people who bought PSP's but they were disappointed and ended up selling them on eBay. Even a crude, tasteless ad can't change that!

pridex
pridex

GO SONY! You bunch of dumbA**s

nestea_king
nestea_king

Icekxg First off, I'd like to say that ad is STUPID...SHOW ME A GAME ON THE BILLBOARD and I'll be happy. Next...FREEDOM OF SPEACH, our country was built on freedom...so to all those complainers, STFU! lol you say everyone has freedom, then you tell them to stfu :lol:

KIM7813
KIM7813

Look, everyone in this country is an equal and yet we have such strange laws and views that are making things worse. If we don't stop fighting, it could become separatistic and we'd never go further. In a way, someone should have researched. I mean, skin deep perceptions just result in riots. Rioting is no longer acceptable. Mr. Yee does need a life. There are more important things to worry about.

Apnomis
Apnomis

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Apnomis
Apnomis

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Apnomis
Apnomis

I really hate how over sensitive the world has become to racism. Normally the people that make the biggest noise about this sort of thing aren't the minority that should be affected. In fact the noise created by those that want to be offended on behalf of the minority because they think it makes them morally superior is often more damaging to the minority then the original cause of the outrage. Tell me this, if the white PSP came first and the Black PSP was launched later and Sony Netherlands ran an ad that had a weedy little pale white geek in his vest and boxers being grabbed at the throat by big black body builder would this even of made the news, nevermind cause an outcry around the world?