The new Diesel campaign is on Tinder.Tinder is a dating app where people swipe on pictures they like or don't like.
The "male version" of the Diesel ad has an Asian male (Kim Sang Woo) with text on his picture that says "this is how serious i am about us."
His picture is way over-the-top serious for a Tinder picture. And the "this is how serious i am about us" text is way over-the-top for a dating-app picture where you don't know the person looking at your picture.
implication is that people who use Tinder usually swipe left on this "type of guy." Diesel is trying to show it gets Tinder culture by showing a left-swipe guy.
He's meant to be left-swiped because of the text on his picture and his over-the-top expression. Diesel is making fun of this type of Tinder guy. It's supposed to be "hip and cool."
The "female version" of the ad just says "it's girlfriend material."
There is no over-the-top text placed on the white girl's picture. Her picture is just a random picture you might find on Tinder. It's not meant to clearly sway someone to swipe right or left.
Racism isn't always blatant.
Most of the time it's subtle.
Diesel is portraying Kim Sang Woo in a totally different way
than the white girl. "Normal guys" on Tinder don't usually have text or expressions like the Kim Sang Woo ad.
And they clearly didn't put similar text on the female version of the ad.
The problem isn't that Asian men are always portrayed seriously.The problem is Asian male models rarely get portrayed at all in fashion.
And it's problematic to hire Kim Sang Woo and then use him in this negative way. It's like Asian actors. They rarely get cast in anything, so it's problematic to use them only for a negative impact.
If the male model was white, it wouldn't be problematic. It would just be a stupid attempt at being funny. But he's not white. He's Asian. And why do they need to use an Asian model for the left-swipe ad?
***Sorry for all the confusion this post caused***