Mr. Sulu, Please Take Us to Yellow Pigment
I am slowly getting back into the swing of being a normal, functioning human being. What does that entail? Going to the gym three times a week, finding employment, and watching Prime Time television.
I actually remembered to watch “The Office” on Thursday. Brand new episode, fairly new commercials.
Now I’m not the only one who caught this commercial and blogged about it, but I want you to view it and let the image sink in your mind for a second.
The first thing that came to my mind is, “Hey! George Takei is on TV! I love that man and he’s hilarious at the end.”
A few seconds later a nagging thought hit me: George Takei, an Asian, is presenting the yellow pigment that’s been added to our familiar Red, Green, and Blue color system.
Oh you sly, sly dogs. I am smirking at your subtle hints of race and advertising. And I’m not the only one! In googling the commercial, I came across this blog post on 8Asians.com. It’s the same thought pattern as mine.
This isn’t going to be one of those posts where I get angry, claim that Asians are being portrayed in a racist manner, and then swear to boycott any TV station that airs this commercial. I won’t pull a Margaret Cho and turn into the Incredible Yellow Hulk (it starts around 1:28):
I mean, the Power Rangers back in the day had an African-American Black Ranger and an Asian-American Yellow Ranger and I don’t recall the protests and picket fences outside of Fox. It’s a funny commercial, and George Takei is one of my homies. Seriously. We’ve probably got a common relative or our great-grandmas used to live near each other. My uncle did the set up for his wedding, and he made a wonderful speech at the Los Angeles AIDS Walk last year. (There was even a joke about getting lei’d – people were hooting, but then Mr. Takei tossed the blue orchid lei he’d been wearing into the crowd.)
It’s a clever ad and I enjoyed the little “play on colors.” Kudos to you, Sharp Brand Electronics, for that intellectual quip. I may even buy your TV in a couple of years.