If you’re familiar with the Broadway musical Avenue Q, you already know that “Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist.” And so, it would seem, British Airways is not exempt.
In a recent BA campaign, “British Airways: Fuelled by Love,” the video is ostensibly meant to portray the airline as worldly, loving and connected. But they may have achieved just the opposite.
Posted on Monday, “Fuelled by Love” is getting praise from, of all places, YouTube commenters, one of whom described it as “bursting” with humanity.
But here’s another possible characterization: condescending, patronizing and fetishizing….
The misguided representation — which Condé Nast Traveler positively reviewed in its article “New British Airways Ad Will Make You Cry (and Miss Your Mom)” — depicts Indians as simplistic, inferior and bound to the generosity of Westerners.
And, finally, the tagline, “Loving India back since 1924,” the year British Airways started offering flights to India. Loving them back? According to whom, exactly?
In the early 20th century, “loving India back” came in the form of violent subjugation of the Indian peoples during a nearly century-long colonization. The British co-opted India’s resources and recklessly withdrew their occupation in 1947, such that more than one million Indians died and fifteen million were displaced.
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