EU withdraws £106,000 ‘racist’ propaganda video
The European Union has withdrawn a £106,000 propaganda video promoting itself as a force for world peace after complaints of “racism”.
Last week’s short “viral” internet film shows a white woman, dressed in gold and blue clothes, the colours of the EU’s flag, overcoming threatening, dark-skinned martial arts assailants.
First the EU heroine, modelled on the martial arts film Kill Bill, is menaced by a Chinese Kung Fu master. Then a second threat appears as a urbaned practitioner of Kalaripayattu, a southern Indian martial art, levitates towards her brandishing a scimitar.
As she turns to face the new menace, a third black assailant with dreadlocks cartwheels aggressively towards her before striking a Capoeira pose, the Brazilian martial art.
But staring at the men, the woman does not fight. Splitting into 12 versions of herself, the number of stars on the EU’s flag, she encircles the men, who drop their weapons and aggressive fighting stances.
All then sit cross legged on the ground talking and the 12 identical women morphs into the EU’s flag with the slogan, “the more we are, the stronger we are”.
European Commission officials were forced moved to pull the film from YouTube on Tuesday after thousands of complaints that the video promoted “imperialism” and “stereotypes” rather than the EU’s “neighbourhood” policy.
Stefano Sannino, the official in charge of the Commission’s enlargement and neighbourhood policy, insisted that the film, targeting 16 to 24-year olds, had been well received by target audiences and focus groups.
“The clip featured typical characters for the martial arts genre: it started with demonstration of their skills and ended with all characters showing their mutual respect, concluding in a position of peace and harmony. The genre was chosen to attract young people and to raise their curiosity on an important EU policy,” he said.
But following many complaints, Mr Sannino said that, despite the €127,000 production cost, the two minute video would be axed.
“The clip was absolutely not intended to be racist and we obviously regret that it has been perceived in this way,” he said.
“We apologise to anyone who may have felt offended. Given these controversies, we have decided to stop the campaign immediately and to withdraw the video.”
One YouTube viewer posted the comment: “White woman defends against Black, Asian and Indian men… racist much? UK taxpayers’ money should not be used to promote an agency to which the public is so diametrically opposed.”