Coca-Cola is being accused of racism in Mexico for the soft drink giant's portrayal of indigenous Mexicans.
In a advertising campaign labeled “#AbreTuCorazon,” which is Spanish for “open your heart,” A he short video ad features smiling and laughing white-skinned Mexicans traveling to an indigenous village of brown-skinned Mexicans to give a gift of an artificial Christmas tree and a cooler full of Coca-Cola. The ad goes on to say: “This Christmas a group of young people decided to give something very special to the indigenous community of Totontepec [Villa] de Morelos in Oaxaca. You, too, open your heart.”
Towards the end of the ad, which tells viewers that more than 80 percent of Mexicans speak an indigenous language, the artificial Christmas tree has a message in the indigenous language of Mexe that says: “We will stay united.”
While Coca-Cola seems to have made an attempt at racial harmony on Mexico, this attempt is being seen as clumsy and downright racist for how it depicts young and happy white people coming into a village of brown people depicted as solemn, tight-lipped, and unable to make their own fake Christmas tree if they wanted.
On Twitter, the public railed against the soft drink giant.
“White saviors bring indigenous Mexicans Coca-Cola & an art installation. Racism solved,” tweeted Indigenous Chicana.
“When a company as big as Coca-Cola says #AbreTuCorazon by giving Coca-Cola to indigenous people, what they are really doing is using them,” tweeted Diana Villegas.
Diana Turner, a spokesman for Consumer Power, told the Associated Press. “It’s outrageous for the indigenous.”
After online outrage became widespread, Coca-Cola Mexico pulled the ad and apologized, according to the Guardian.