Apparently Landons new commercial playing in Mexico isn’t going over so well, in, well… Mexico…
In Mexico, a new advertisement featuring American soccer star Landon Donovan is being called racist, insensitive and, by some, hilarious. Donovan appears in a commercial for a new lottery dressed as a caricature of a Mexican campesino, or peasant.
more on this after the jump…
Donovan is well-known in Mexico — and most Mexicans hate him. They hate him the way Boston Red Sox fans hate New York Yankees star Derek Jeter. They hate Donovan because he has scored several key goals against the Mexican national team.
And then there was the time when he urinated on the field in Guadalajara in 2004. Mexican fans have not forgiven him for that, and they boo ferociously whenever he plays in the country.
Despite his terrible public image, Donovan has been cast in an ad campaign for a new lottery in Mexico.
In a gigantic sombrero, a multicolored poncho and a huge fake mustache, Donovan is seen scooting under the border fence into Mexico. He tries to tiptoe past a dozing Mexican border guard.
The ad has been the talk of talk radio in Mexico City, with most callers tearing into Donovan as an arrogant little gringo.
Sergio Sarmiento, host of a morning show on Radio Red, says about 80 percent of callers to his show are “very negative” about the ad.
“They thought it was insulting,” Sarmiento says. “People thought he was making fun of Mexicans, that he was making fun especially of Mexican migratory workers in the U.S.”
Online, people in Mexico have been criticizing the new ad for the GanaGol lottery, asking if Donovan will next do a commercial in China in a Fu Manchu mustache or a South African spot in a loincloth.
But Luis Gomez, who teaches sociology at the Autonomous National University of Mexico, says Donovan’s costume is so over-the-top that it is funny. Gomez says in Mexico, Donovan represents the great rivalry between these two countries.
“When you dress him up as a Mexican, it’s ridiculous,” Gomez says. “It’s not offensive. It’s ridiculous. It appears comic.”