Mexican Airline Is Sorry For Light-Skinned ‘Whites Only’ Casting Call For Ad

Who’s responsible for the scandal that erupted when a casting call for an ad for Mexico’s Aeromexico airlines asked for light-skinned actors only?

Earlier this week the qualifications to be cast in the new Aeromexico ad campaign escaped into the wild. The Spanish-language flyer in question has been posted online at Latin Times.

If you go there, you’ll see the ad agency was seeking light-skinned or white-skinned actors at the casting call. You would also be disqualified if you had blue eyes or blonde hair.

Latin Times said the producers were going for a so-called Polanco look — “a reference to Mexico City’s wealthiest, whitest and most exclusive district.”

However, this kind of racial discrimination isn’t legal in Mexico. And it certainly doesn’t make for good publicity.

An active Twitter user Tamara De Anda @plaqueta is getting the credit for exposing the illegal casting call for white-skinned actors. If you read Spanish, her Twitter feed makes for some interesting reading.

An Associated Press report said that the Mexican airline has now apologized. Aeromexico said that they don’t discriminate based on skin color or anything else.

That racist casting call? They blame the Catatonia Ad Agency.

But the Catatonia Ad Agency fired back, saying they’re not the ones at fault either.

In an amazingly long Spanish-language Twitlonger post on Friday, they pass the hot potato to a third party contractor. They said the contractor wrote the light-skinned casting call requirements and distributed them to the various modeling agencies in question without Catatonia’s knowledge.

And while they’re at it, they take a little jab at Tamara de Anda, saying that she distributed the flyer around Twitter based on “incomplete information.”

AP said that the Aeromexico commercial wasn’t made. Hmm. It makes you wonder if they plan to let the shouting die down a little before they try again.

It will be interesting to see what the actors in any upcoming Aeromexico airline commercials actually look like. Will they represent the real Mexico? Or will they look like the folks described in the light-skinned casting call flyer?

[AeroMexico aircraft photo by BriYYZ via Wikimedia Commons]