ESPN just says, 'D'oh!' to racism and sexism

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November 16th, 2008

I haven't been keeping up on my reading and so an article on Advertising Age's web site from Friday talking about how a planned ESPN ad campaign was scrapped after the casting-call memo for it was leaked just caught my attention:

Walt Disney Co.'s ESPN has been forced to abandon an advertising campaign before it ever got started after a casting-call memo was leaked that asked for actors to play college students that included a "slutty girl," an "Asian kid ... who's always fighting" and a "short" Hispanic who one day hopes to "race thoroughbreds."

The commercial was to be produced by one of ESPN's ad agencies, Anomaly, New York. The casting call memo was put out by Liz Lewis Casting Partners, New York. Anomaly did not return a phone call requesting comment. Liz Lewis, owner of Liz Lewis Casting Partners, declined to comment.

Ad Age has some choice blurbs from the memo. Nothing really surprises me, not even stupidity, but... It's still hard to believe that anyone would be stupid enough to send something like that out into the electronic wild given the blatantly racist and sexist stereotypes portrayed. It almost seems like a very mean practical joke played on someone. Kids, don't leave your computers unattended without password protecting, or someone might send malevolent e-mails that look like they came from *you*. If that's not the case, shame on you Liz Lewis for bad hiring.

Hopefully she's better at firing.

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