Communications and Society blog: By and for students in Marist COM 201

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Racist Cupcakes? Really? Really……

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It’s not every day that a potential blog-worthy subject jumps out at me but this I just couldn’t resist. I haven’t read anything so mind-numbingly absurd in ages.

In all seriousness, let’s get to the heart of the article. Duncan Hines has started marketing their new product, a lovely chocolate glaze syrup that, when slightly microwaved, is perfect for pouring on some tasty cupcakes. The product is called Amazing Glaze. Isn’t that cute? Not so much. Apparently, the product’s ad campaign has crossed the line into overtly racist marketing.

Yes, you’ve read that right. The television ad which was swiftly pulled from its Youtube channel (hence why I cannot directly link it here) features a woman pouring the chocolate glaze over some inanimate cupcakes, at which point they suddenly sprout faces and begin to beat-box. Some critics call it hip-hop. Others call it techno. The consensus on what type of music they are making isn’t entirely clear. But what’s clear enough to get certain people up in arms is the conclusion that those cupcakes are definitely meant to be racial parodies. If we want to be more particular, we can even point out that the cupcakes themselves are actually vanilla, with just a glaze over their face ~ similar to the racist practice of blackface formerly  used by white thespians who would paint their faces black to portray African characters on stage. So either the cupcakes are stereotypical portrayals of blacks or racist portrayal of whites in blackface. Which option is more offensive?

I think people are missing the key point here. The real question should be: whether there has been any topic in recent news more absurd than this. I’ve heard of a slow news day but come on! It’s illuminating to consider that this was a groundbreaking story. I’m all for condemning discrimination and racial profiling but, subliminal advertising aside, there are  some times when a cupcake may just be meant to represent…. a cupcake.


Written by stephdadamo

December 15, 2010 at 3:28 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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