Coca-Cola released a 60-second ad featuring “America the Beautiful” being sung in eight different languages during the Super Bowl on Sunday, but a number of viewers were offended that it wasn’t sung in just one: English.
“Saddened by your tasteless commercial that was intended to show us as the ‘melting pot’, we kept hitting the #1 button on our remotes for English,” one outraged viewer (of many) wrote on the soda company’s Facebook page. “Goodbye Coca Cola!”
See photos: Super Bowl’s 7 Most Buzzed-About Commercials
The company’s celebration of cultural diversity in the United States spawned demands for a boycott — which may or may not last once those concerned citizens realize Pepsi’s CEO, Indra Nooyi, was born and raised in India before migrating to this country.
If people weren’t bothered by the commercial’s colorful depiction of the country’s population — including the first openly gay parents ever featured in a Super Bowl ad — many considered the multi-lingual rendition of the patriotic tune some kind of insult to the veterans who have served in the armed forces.
“You should be ashamed Coca-Cola!! Our Veterans did not die to hear America the Beautiful sung in another language,” another angry viewer wrote on Coke’s Facebook page. “I will NEVER buy another Coke as long as I live or until you apologize to ALL of the Veterans who fought and died for our freedom!!”
“this is america the language is english (sic),” another outraged American complained. “if you dont like it then leave our country.”
Others were a little more vague as to why the commercial bothered them. But made sure to emphasize it had nothing to do with race.
“Not a racist. But Coke is off my shopping list,” another Facebook comment read.
The immediate backlash wasn’t just driven by private citizens on social media. Conservative online media outlet Breitbart took the time to explain “Why Coca Cola’s Multicultural ‘America the Beautiful’ Ad Was Offensive.” Fox News commentator Todd Starnes took to Twitter to ask, “So was Coca-Cola saying America is beautiful because new immigrants don’t learn to speak English?” And Former tea party congressman Allen West wrote a blog post to declare it was “a truly disturbing commercial,” because he “didn’t recognize” any of the non-English languages being spoken.
Coca-Cola said it intended for the commercial to stress that “the only thing more beautiful than this country are the people who live here.” Unfortunately, it appears that a number of bad apples proved the exact opposite. But at least there is a silver lining to be found:
Glad to see the #boycottcoke thing. That way we can clearly spot every bigot, racist and moron in the country & keep them from our kids
– Penny Kinsella™ (@feastorafamine) February 3, 2014
The commercial also revealed entirely too many “patriotic” Americans don’t know what the National Anthem is.
While some of the commercial’s detractors accused Coke of supporting illegal immigration, a behind-the-scenes video (below) unveils that every person appearing in the ad was, indeed, legally American. And they’ve all faced racism throughout their lives — even “a white guy.”