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The Threatening Figure in Advertising

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Over the weekend at MARCon, I was on a panel that, at one point, discussed negative racial stereotypes in film and literature. The shorthand used to convey a "threatening figure" used to be a black man in the background looking at a white (usually blonde) woman.

So when the ad below showed up in the corner of my eye, I figured it was more of the same. And then I looked a little more closely.

Huh. White dude in the background. It isn't a lot, but in some ways it's a better sign of how things have changed - because it's just an ad.

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