Update: The #WeAreAllMonkeys banana selfie campaign was a planned marketing stunt

Neymar's banana photoIt turns out that Dani Alves’ witty reaction to a banana being thrown onto the soccer field that I wrote about earlier this week was a planned marketing stunt.

I don’t know about you, but I think this speaks to why the ensuing social media reaction felt like such a hollow campaign. What’s troubling to me is not that it was somewhat staged, but that in the planning, no one thought of anything more substantive. Jude Wanga wrote a good piece on the topic, and what actions could have actually been taken: 

A better show of solidarity would have been to pressure Villarreal, other clubs, UEFA and FIFA to take harsher sanctions against any club with racist fans whilst resolving to educate those around them. They currently giver larger fines to players who wear sponsored underwear than they do to clubs that have racist fans.

Also, how hypocritical it was to see some of the people who joined the hashtag:

Luis Suarez [...] highlighted the futility of the hashtag. Here is a man who has used racially abusive language towards Patrice Evra, consistently insisted he did nothing wrong, and recently claimed the case against him was false. He apologised to everyone except his victim, and is now using a hashtag to show unity along with Say No To Racism.

I see a threadline through this, and what’s happening to Donald Sterling (the “fan” at the soccer game was apparently banned for life also). Though I’m glad that sports teams are at least doing something, bandaid solutions won’t help, and marketing campaigns (which is what this was) are made for big companies’ profit, not to actually change anything.


Juliana thinks that monkeys get a bad rap.

Bay Area, California

Juliana is a digital storyteller for social change. As a writer at Feministing since 2013, her work has focused on women's movements throughout the Americas for environmental justice, immigrant rights, and reproductive justice. In addition to her writing, Juliana is a Senior Campaigner at Change.org, where she works to close the gap between the powerful and everyone else by supporting people from across the country to launch, escalate and win their campaigns for justice.

Juliana is a Latina feminist writer and campaigner based in the Bay Area.

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