Wednesday, April 01, 2009

By request, pondering the Diddy color struck casting call drama…

There’s a lot going on in the world…the Justice Department plans to drop charges against Senator Stevens, the G20 Summit, the protests at the G20 Summit, Conficker confusion and so forth and so on…but a bitch has received several emails requesting my thoughts on the Diddy color struck casting call drama.


Alrighty then!

Shall we?

This bitch grew up in a time when lighter skin was considered prettier by magazines and casting agents and even by certain members of my family who were the very definition of color struck. So coming to adore my Hershey brown (dark chocolate in the summer) skin tone took some time…a lot of inner work…and the blessings that come from the dedicated study of bitchitude.

But the recent re-do of the landmark baby doll test tells us that internalized notions of black not being beautiful and darker black skin being even more not beautiful are alive and well. Despite the protests of many, we are not post-racial and the wounds of bigotry are often visible when many a person of color looks in the mirror.

When I ponder the drama over some sort of casting call sent out for a Ciroc vodka commercial (Diddy is a spokesperson…more on that in a minute) in which lighter skinned women of color were specifically requested, I initially felt the sting of a lifetime spent in a community that often frets getting darker in the summer sun the way some white people fret losing their tan over winter.

Whoever sent that shit out should have anticipated some serious drama even though casting calls are the very definition of insulting as hell for one reason or another.

Then I took a step back and remembered that those Ciroc commercials are insulting for a lot of reasons…and this skin color casting call shit is not at the top of the list.

I dislike the poor production quality of the commercials…they come across as if Diddy’s friends decided to film him over a weekend spent indulging in every possible materialistic excess using their fucking cell phones or hand held cameras.

I dislike the definition of luxury sent out by that shit…and trust a bitch, Diddy announced his relationship with Ciroc stating that he was going to take that brand to another level. Well, he sure as shit took it some place, but it twasn't to the land of luxury. Instead, Ciroc vodka commercials look like cheap hastily put together music videos and feature depictions of women of color as objects in a Diddified world where we are necessary decorations for cars, parties and King like happenings.

Before this bitch can even ponder the skin color of the women in the commercials I must get past their hanging all over a perpetually bored looking Diddy, sending him looks of adoration and lust while they all fly across some body of water on a motherfucking speed boat...and then tossing out final looks of complete smug agreement as Diddy declares himself a king.

Pause…sip coffee…continue.

Suffice it to say Ciroc has a lot of explaining to do when it comes to approving Diddy’s brand identity…and the light skin color specificity shit is just the latest.

One of these days this bitch will land an endorsement deal and launch my Absolut Blackness campaign where all will be welcome as long as they aren't trifling.


Rileysdtr said...

Dare one point out the darkest chocolate is the richest in taste? That Hershey's special dark is the sweetest and smoothest and melts best in one's mouth?

(feel free to read in whichever layer of meaning makes you smile...)

Mike said...

Diddy is himself a *brand*, not an artist of any merit. That's the message he sends when he endorses vodka, flogs his clothing line, etc. Was it *ever* about the music (or a worthy 'message') for this guy? He's no Chuck D, that's for sure.

Anonymous said...

Well, he sure as shit took it some place, but it twasn't to the land of luxury.

Thank you for making me snort coffee bright and shiny early this morning. (No, seriously, thank you. Love your post. Have twittered/retweeted many of them to spread the word.)

Brooklyne said...

I still think Diddy needs to say something though. Ciroc is in the red and even though Diddy is just the spokesperson I think he has a moral obligation to at least say something behind closed doors...

Who knows, maybe he already has?

Peterr said...

The day after the day you land that deal with Absolute, you need to turn around and work another one with the good people at Ocean Spray.

I envision a commercial with you standing next to those two guys who are always in cranberries and water up to their waist -- you pouring the vodka and them pouring the cran.

Nat said...

I love this post. All I have to say, because evidently the issue is obviously beyond just skin colour... very very well put.

amelia50 said...

Dear ABB,
In my own experience working with young teens, I heard black children call another, slightly darker child, charcoal and Africaman. Very sad.

SarahMarian said...

Your description of the typical Circo commercial=priceless. And so true.

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