Arab-American groups have sharply criticized a Coca-Cola Super Bowl ad depicting an Arab walking through the desert with a camel as being racist.
One group has even asked the beverage giant to change it before CBS airs the game on Sunday before an expected audience of more than 100 million American viewers.
According to the Daily Mail, Coca-Cola released an online teaser of the commercial last week, showing the Arab walking through a desert.
He soon sees cowboys, Las Vegas showgirls and a motley crew fashioned after the marauders of the apocalyptic 'Mad Max' film race by him to reach a gigantic bottle of Coke.
'Why is it that Arabs are always shown as either oil-rich sheiks, terrorists, or belly dancers?' Warren David, president of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, or ADC, said.
In the ad, Coke asks viewers to vote online on which characters should win the race. The online site does not allow a vote for the Arab character.
In an email, Imam Ali Siddiqui, president of the Muslim Institute for Interfaith Studies, said that 'the Coke commercial for the Super Ball is racist, portraying Arabs as backward and foolish Camel Jockeys, and they have no chance to win in the world.'
Abed Ayoub, ADC's director of legal and policy affairs asked 'what message was Coke sending with the ad,' adding that 'by not including the Arab in the race, it is clear that the Arab is held to a different standard when compared to the other characters in the commercial.'
In response, Coca-Cola spokeswoman Lauren Thompson said Coke took a 'cinematic' approach with the ad, employing the characters as a nod to movies of the past, the report added. (ANI)