Update: The #WeAreAllMonkeys banana selfie campaign was a planned marking 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.

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Juliana thinks that monkeys get a bad rap.

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3 Comments

  1. Posted May 1, 2014 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    Wow. A marketing campaign? Even though he picked up the banana and ate it, the fact of the banana throwing is still really offensive. Racism should not be tolerated, no matter what the circumstance. This is pretty ridiculous to find out this was a marketing campaign.

  2. Posted May 2, 2014 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    Because of the recent racism from Bruins fans toward PK Subban, the Stroumboulopoulos Tonight show just recently uploaded a clip from 2012 on their youtube channel(Strombo) where PK Subban was talking about racism and being a black player in the NHL and the subject of someone “throwing a banana on the field” came up and Subban joked that if someone did that at a game he would just pick it up and eat it. So yeah, what an original idea. :(

  3. Posted May 9, 2014 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

    It does not detract from the message that it was a planned thing. It is an excellent idea, and if it was originally from Subban, kudos to him. There is nothing wrong with acting on a brilliant idea. Rosa Parks ride on the bus was planned. It takes team work to fight institutional racism.

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