Et tu, Verizon?

Another day, another negative Italian-American stereotype.

This latest one comes from Verizon. The commercial featuring the “Collurio” Family depicts an open-shirted, heavily-accented blue-collar guy in full-on “fugeddaboudit” mode, hosting a barbecue for his extended family of trashy, overly-dolled-up women and greasy-haired men.

Imagine if this had been a barbecue filled with African-Americans wearing large gold chains, or Jewish-Americans eating matzoh balls, or Irish-Americans drinking alcohol. I’m sure there would be immediate outrage at a commercial that perpetuates these offensive stereotypes, and yet, a similarly offensive ad featuring Italian-Americans is aired without protest.

Commercials like these make me want to switch to Sprint.

I emailed Verizon to express my displeasure about the commercial, and will let you know if/when they reply.

**UPDATE as of Jan. 30th***

I heard back from Verizon today. The representative said that after seeing my emails, she viewed the commercial again, and saw it in a new light. As we talked, she recorded my specific issues with the commercial, and is forwarding a detailed report to the folks who handle the marketing/advertising for Verizon. She stressed that they use an outside marketing firm to create their advertisements, and that it was not Verizon’s intention to offend anyone. However, “if even one person complains,” that is enough for them to re-evaluate the ad.

She assured me she would follow up with me again soon, and let me know if and when they will be taking the ad out of rotation. I’ll keep you posted.

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