Malaysia bans car ad featuring Brad Pitt for bruising Asian egos
Malaysia announced Monday it has banned a car advertisement featuring actor Brad Pitt, saying that the producers have degraded Asians by picking the Hollywood heart-throb over local personalities.
Deputy Minister of Information, Zainuddin Maidin, said that the advertisement, which features Pitt driving one of carmaker Toyota's latest car model, was discontinued after it donned local newspapers and enjoyed air-time on local television several months back.
"We banned that ad because it was considered an insult to Asian people."
"Why must we use (Caucasian) looks in our advertisements? Why, are our men not handsome?" Zainuddin was quoted as saying by the official Bernama news agency.
He urged advertising companies not to use Pan-Asian looks for their printed or electronic productions, but to hire locals for their models.
"This is the responsibility of the advertisers ... (otherwise), they are planting a sense of low self-esteem among Asians."
Zainuddin said the government had already enforced a ruling stating that all locally-shown advertisements have to feature local talents, but of late, many advertising companies had been flouting the rules.