Jello Commercial from 1959 Painfully Plays on Chinese Stereotypes

It’s cliche to say that “times have changed”, but they have. Just have a look at this gem of a commercial from 1959.

It features a Chinese baby trying to eat Jello with chopsticks. That doesn’t work out for him too well, so his mother brings him the “great western invention. Spoon”.

For anyone with a modern sensibility the commercial is a cringeworthy watch –and racist on multiple levels. The narrator perhaps being the the worst aspect, with his highly exaggerated pidgin English, that never once uses the definite article “the”.


 

The spoon is also a subtle needle at Chinese culture, implying that in order for the Chinese to prosper they should get with the spoon and become more “American”.

Chopsticks have been the utensil of choice in China for like, a gajillion years, and the Chinese seem to be prospering quite well –again. Guess the Jello exec team back then didn’t figure on that one.


 

 

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