Earlier today, we received the following tweet from @EricRubiel:
— Eric(杜闿棣) (@EricRubiel) August 14, 2013
The image, according to @plaqueta, referred to an casting call for an Aeroméxico advertisement, which specifically said that “nadie moreno” would be allowed to audition. In Spanish, the term “moreno” refers to “individuals of dark skin tones.” Let’s just say this: imagine if American Airlines were casting an ad and as part of the casting call, specifically said that “no dark-skinned people need apply.” This is what happened here, according to @plaqueta. The “look Polanco” the casting call announcement was searching for, referred to the affluent Polanco neighborhoods of Mexico City.
The tweet eventually led to a @plaqueta blog called “Todos somos Aeroméxico” (“We Are All Aeroméxico”), where she explains the context of the letter she received (admitting that the announcement didn’t call for “blondes with blue eyes,” either) and why she received it. At one point, she writes in Spanish (translation is ours):
Because I’ve been around for 30 years, ELEVEN THOUSAND DAYS OF MY LIFE, swallowing Mexican advertising. And outside of government program announcements, NGOs, “folkloric” tourism foundations about our “our native cultures,” brown people do not exist. In general, not only are indigenous people deleted (unless they appear in their traditional costumes), so are the brown middle-class, city dwellers and/or even those undeniably handsome ones who meet “western” or “mainstream” standards. If your pantone [skin tone] reaches certain levels, either way, don’t come to the casting. So, the announcement of a brown Aeromexico family, yes, that would have been “weird” because no one in Mexico has ever seen that ever… in the media.
As expected, @plaqueta did more digging about the story and found out that the casting letter came from @CatatoniaAds, who apologized for the letter via Twitter after she tweeted the casting announcement:
Catatonia ofrece una sentida disculpa por la publicación sobre los requerimientos del casting que circuló en (cont) http://t.co/HWlM6OhEJ0
— Catatonia Ads (@CatatoniaAds) August 13, 2013
That tweet led to a longer statement in Spanish:
Catatonia offers a heartfelt apology for the publication on casting requirements that circulated on social networks.
The language used by the casting company that made the publication was inadequate.
We regret the situation, since in no way does it reflect our thinking as a company and as individuals.
At Catatonia we have been working on the development of creativity and thought, because we are interested in the talent of the Mexican labor force and we wish to demonstrate their potential.
We are a mosaic of human beings with values and respect for our neighbors, and we would never discriminate nor would want to be discriminated against on the basis of our race, class, color or any other reason.
We appreciate your understanding of this unfortunate misunderstanding.
On August 13, a day after the letter started to get shared on social media, Aeroméxico’s Twitter profile issued a statement, placing the blame directly on Catatonia Ads, and saying that Catatonia was exhibiting a “discriminatory stance:”
We are sorry for Catatonia’s discriminatory stance, which was circulated today on social media.
We offer our sincerest apology and reiterate our respect for all people, no matter their gender, language, religion, nor their skin color.