<img ” src=”https://blackoute.com/storage/2020/05/volkswagen-golf.jpg” />German car company Volkswagen has been forced to yank a social media ad campaign after critics slammed it as racist.
The 10-second commercial, posted on Instagram Tuesday, features a large white hand shoving a black man away from a yellow Volkswagen Golf parked on the street, then flicking him inside of a French cafe.
A tagline reading “Der neue Golf” — meaning “The new Golf” — then fades from the screen in a way that appears to spell the N-word in German, sparking intense online backlash, according to the UK Telegraph.
A closer look also revealed that the cafe’s name, Petit Colon, means “Little Colonist” in French.
The automaker said Wednesday it pulled the ad because it “can understand the outrage and anger.”
“Without question: the video is inappropriate and tasteless,” Volkswagen said in a statement. “We will clarify how something like this could happen, and there will be consequences.”
The company — which was founded as “the people’s car” during the Nazi party’s reign — said it now seeks to “position itself against all forms of racism, xenophobia and discrimination.”
Volkswagen reps at first tried to defend the ad online, saying the clip was misinterpreted.
“As you can imagine, we are surprised and shocked that our Instagram story could be so misunderstood,” the firm said on Instagram.
But critics quickly fired back.
“No one here got the wrong impression,” one observer said. “This is bad and racist communication.”