**Check out Hal’s Hub that made Apple pull the TV ad over here.
Late last week I received an email from Hal Licino, one of our more outspoken Hubbers, who claimed to have single-handedly pressuring Apple into pulling one of their iPhone TV commercials after one of his Hubs claimed that it was openly promoting racial slurs. Hal, an Italian, continued to explain that the word Terroni was plainly seen throughout a commercial that he saw on TV, which sparked him to push out a Hub that blasted the seemingly otherwise harmless Apple marketing spot.
You’re probably wondering, “Well, what does Terroni even mean and why does Hal think that it’s so bad?” and for that explanation I’ll pull a quote from the email that Hal sent over my way:
“To the uninitiated, allow me to inform you what Terroni means in Italian. It is a derogatory term utilized by skinheads, neo-Nazis, and other violent racists to indicate that Southern Italians are retrograde, primitive, stupid Neanderthals only fit to till the earth with an ox, and unworthy of civil rights or equality in any way.”
After doing a little research, I found out that Terroni is the plural version of Terrone, which is defined on Urban Dictionary as “A derogatory term for Italians south of Bologna. Literally translated it means “farmer”. Northern Italians use the term with contempt for their uneducated, and cultureless brothers of the south of Italy.” Also, if you look up Terrone on Wikipedia it directs you to their list of common ethnic slurs. So, I guess that it appears that Hal may have an argument here, eh? Here’s some more information how all of this went down, straight from the mouth of Hal Licino himself.
“The story of how I was placidly watching TV one evening when an Apple iPhone commercial aired that made my jaw drop to my lap is outlined in my Hub that’s titled Apple’s New TV Ad Uses The Italian Version Of The “N”-Word!. This Hub became immediately popular, drawing more than 1200 page views its first day. One of the commenters suggested that I contact Katie Cotton, Vice President of Worldwide Corporate Communications at Apple, so I wrote her an email expressing my outrage on behalf of the 6% of the North American population which is of Italian extraction, and didn’t hear back. Then I went onto Apple’s Press Contacts page and emailed everyone listed on that page who seemed to have any connection to television advertising and iPhones. A couple of more days elapsed and I still had heard nothing. So, I went back to the Press Contacts page and started dialing numbers. I got voicemail after voicemail and left messages, not really expecting anyone to get back to me.
Another couple of days later, Mr. Stuart McKenzie from Apple called me to discuss the situation. He had read my Hub, explained that this was an entirely inadvertent occurrence, and asked me for a couple of days to look into the commercial and speak to some people at Apple. He then called me back on Wednesday, April 8th to inform me that Apple took this event very seriously, the commercial was going to “be pulled immediately and never shown again,” and thanked me for writing the Hub thus bringing the situation to Apple’s attention. I thanked Mr. McKenzie on behalf of my entire community. ”