Actor Brad Pitt watches from courtside at a Lakers games in Los Angeles, in this May 24, 2002. file photo. Pitt might be much sought after for magazine covers and posters worldwide, but the Malaysian government believes the Hollywood star's appearance in a recent series of car advertisements in this region was ``an insult to Asians.'' Deputy Information Minister Zainuddin Maidin said Monday, Dec. 16, 2002 that advertisements featuring models and personalities who don't look Asian would ``plant a sense of inferiority among Asians,'' the national news agency Bernama reported
Malaysia Calls Brad Pitt Ads Insulting
Dec 16, 2:36 PM (ET)
By The Associated Press
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) - Brad Pitt is sought after for magazine covers and posters worldwide, but the Malaysian government believes the Hollywood star's appearance in a recent series of car advertisements in this region was "an insult to Asians."
Deputy Information Minister Zainuddin Maidin said Monday that ads featuring models and personalities who don't look Asian would "plant a sense of inferiority among Asians," the national news agency Bernama reported.
"Why must we use their faces in our advertisements?" Zainuddin was quoted as saying. "Aren't our own people handsome enough?"
Zainuddin said the government recently pulled the plug on advertisements for Toyota Altis cars featuring Pitt. The campaign ran for at least several weeks in mid-2002 in newspapers and on television in Malaysia and many other Asian countries.
"We canceled the ads because they were considered an insult to Asians," he said.
Dec 16th, 2002, 10:19 PM
Well...one tends to buy things advertized by people that look like you. I understand them.
Dec 16th, 2002, 10:51 PM
Well, the actors do sell the products and that's all the companies care about.
Dec 17th, 2002, 07:21 AM
Brad Pitt: Just not Malaysian enough
Malaysia bans 'humiliating' Brad Pitt ad
Tuesday, December 17, 2002 Posted: 12:50 PM HKT (0450 GMT)
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -- Malaysian officials have banned a car advert featuring Hollywood heartthrob Brad Pitt, saying the promotion could be humiliating to Asian looks.
According to the official Bernama new agency, the move comes as part of a broader effort by the government to reduce the number of non-Malaysian faces used in local advertising.
In comments directed at the country's advertising agency, Malaysian Deputy Information Minister Zainuddin Maidin said the widespread use of Western faces in advertisements could create an inferiority complex among Asians.
"Why do we need to use their faces in our advertisements? Are our own people not handsome?" Bernama quoted him as saying.
Commenting on the Pitt advertisement he said: "We barred the advertisement as it appeared as a humiliation against Asians."
Hollywood actors and other Western stars frequently appear in advertising across Asia, where they can earn millions of dollars simply by associating their face with a particular brand.
Dec 17th, 2002, 08:27 AM
on another note, what's up with Brad's facial hair? I think he looks silly
Dec 17th, 2002, 10:49 AM
Someone needs to tell this guy he has to shave!
Dec 17th, 2002, 02:18 PM
I've never heard of this in the local papers
Dec 17th, 2002, 05:28 PM
I'm sure that there are some hearthrobs who are from Malaysia or who are asians that could've been used instead of Brad Pitt.
Dec 17th, 2002, 06:20 PM
That pic of Brad is an old one. Its from when he attended lakers game in may 2002. He shaved his beard before the emmy awards. He had been growing it for a movie called 'The fountain' which was to be shot in Australia in Jan '03. But he changed his mind and dropped out of the movie just weeks before the Emmys. He'd been sporting a goatee until this week when he showed up at the premier of 'About Schmidt' on Dec 12 without it.
Here are some pics from the emmys Sept 2002....
Apparently, Brad Pitt's looks can kill...an ad campaign.
Hollywood's handsomest hunk has unexpectedly become the focus of controversy in the Southeast Asian nation of Malaysia after the government banned car advertisements featuring Pitt--all because he was just too darn pretty.
Certain xenophobic Malaysian officials have assembled their own fight club and gone on the offensive against print and television spots, in which the actor touts Toyota's Altis line of automobiles, forcing the ads off the air.
"We cancelled the ads because they were considered an insult to Asians," Deputy Information Minister Zainuddin Maidin was quoted telling Bernama, the country's national news agency.
Maidin went so far as to say that promotions featuring western celebrities and models "plant a sense of inferiority among Asians."
"Why must we use their faces in our advertisements?" he asked. "Aren't our own people handsome enough?"
As a result, government bureaucrats decided to ax Toyota's campaign, which had been running for several weeks last summer in Malaysia and other Asian territories.
The actor had previously proven too sexy for Taiwan, as throngs of schoolgirls there kept swiping posters of Pitt's Toyota ads.
Pitt's camp did not return phone calls seeking comment.
Don't expect to see Pitt's Toyota ads on your television anytime soon. Like many Hollywood A-listers, Pitt shuns commercial work Stateside but will do an occasional spot for the Asian market, where big-name talent can command millions of dollars to endorse everything from beer to perfume without ever being accused of selling out back in North America.
For instance, Harrison Ford has sipped Kirin in commercials, Leonardo DiCaprio was purportedly paid $4 million to endorse cars and blue jeans, Ringo Starr promotes a brand of apple juice in Japan ("Ringo" in Japanese means "apple"), Anthony Hopkins hypes Honda's Avancier cars and Quentin Tarantino plugs Perfect TV. (The Website www.Japander.com has many similar examples.)
When not stirring international controversy, making car ads or simply looking good, Pitt has a day job to keep him busy.
The actor has a cameo in George Clooney's directorial debut, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, due out in limited release December 27. He also will voice the title role in DreamWorks' animated feature Sinbad the Sailor, coming out next May. And he's slated to star as Achilles in Wolfgang Petersen's big-budget epic Troy, set to begin shooting in April.
Dec 18th, 2002, 03:52 AM
you know, if they only want Asian people in their ads and on their television, maybe America should pull all Asians off their tv programs and commercials. God, people make such a big deal about promoting diversity on TV in America, but does it occur to anybody that Malaysia and others should do the same? So what if brad Pitt is in a car ad? How is that insulting and humiliating? I'm not insulted and humiliated when Michael Jordan does a jockey ad. i don't know. I think this is very stupid.
Dec 18th, 2002, 06:28 AM
I guess I can see where they are coming from, but it's a bit strange. Surely people in Malaysia are able to cope with a few commercials featuring white Hollywood actors without needing to seek therapy?
Dec 18th, 2002, 08:59 AM
IMO, Minister Zainuddin Maidin is an insult to the entire mankind....what an insecured animaux.:o
Dec 18th, 2002, 03:35 PM
i've got some info!!!
the public are very mixed in feelings about the ministers word. some support him but most do not
Dec 18th, 2002, 07:30 PM
Weird. I'm of Asian origin and not particularly fond of Brad Pitt, but I'd never have thought of such a thing. If all or most ads used in Malaysia only show Western stars, it might be irritating indeed, but if it is just this ad campaign, it is at best useless fuss and at worst a rather stinking kind of xenophobia. I wouldn't like to hear similar comments in France where Africans or Asians are featured as the only actors in some popular ad campaigns, which happens fairly often. The only ones who make such statements are, indeed, local fascist politicians.
Dec 18th, 2002, 07:48 PM
It’s not Brad Pitt who’s an 'insult' to Asians
1:45pm Wed Dec 18th, 2002
I refer to the guffaw Deputy Information Minister Zainuddin Maidin made when he banned the Toyota advertisements featuring Brad Pitt whom he said would “plant a sense of inferiority among Asians”.
To ban an advertisement because an actor's good looks is "insulting" to Asians is plainly ludicrous. Zainuddin, or Zam as he is known, should know that it is he, not Brad Pitt, that has insulted the intelligence of Asians.
With such a mentality, one wonders how Zam can be a deputy minister, particularly one holding the information portfolio? Information involves interaction of ideas. Various ideas may conflict with whatever we hold to be true.
The Toyota advertisement is not even a monumental clash of ideas, but merely a conduit for facilitating trade. Why is he jeopardising the good trade relationship between Japan and Malaysia on the basis of his preference for an actor's looks?
If the appearance of an American heart-throb in local advertisments is insulting to Asian looks, one wonders if the appearance of American products like Intel and Microsoft in the local market is insulting to Asian trade and technological development?
I am sure many people do not believe that Brad Pitt's looks is insulting, even though I personally do not find him that good-looking. Even then, as I am always impressed, I believe that the government is doing whatever it can to the best of its intentions.
The Chinese has an age-old saying,"Good manners are responded in kind; without reciprocity, it is considered rude." Does Zam like to be told that Americans find his ‘intelligence’ insulting to them?