Honda (NYSE:HMC) luxury brand Acura has issued an apology over a racist recommendation for an African American actor cast in its Superbowl commercial featuring Jerry Seinfeld and Jay Leno, USA TODAY reports.
Celebrity gossip website TMZ acquired a copy of the casting sheet and revealed that it specified an African American for the role of car deal, but recommended finding one who was “nice looking friendly. Not too dark.”
No offensive language was used in the advertisement itself. The ad showed Seinfeld vying with Jay Leno to persuade a customer to turn over the first version of the Acura NSX concept car.
In a statement, Acura said it had “sought to cast an African American in a prominent role” and that it would take “appropriate measures” to see that “such language” did not appear in any documents associated with future Acura projects.
TMZ noted that unnamed people involved in the commercial’s production attributed the suggestion to lighting and special effects used in the ad.
USA TODAY reported that the Seinfeld ad marked Acura’s first Super Bowl commercial. The ad was developed by RP&, Acura’s usual advertising agency.