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Why Cries of Racism Won't Sink Volkswagen's Super Bowl Ad

January 29, 2013

For Volkswagen, one of the most celebrated Super Bowl advertisers of recent years, it's been a tough 24 hours. After the company released its 2013 Super Bowl spot (posted below) on Monday morning—showing a white Minnesota office worker speaking like a happy Jamaican—it was met with mostly favorable if not particularly ecstatic reviews. (You can't make "The Force" every year, after all.) But soon, there were rumblings that it might be racist, or at least seen as such. Among the critics was New York Times columnist Charles Blow, who said Monday on CNN that the fake accent was like "blackface with voices."

The criticism has become more

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