FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Volkswagen’s (VOWG_p.DE) management board on Thursday apologised for the company’s publication of a racist advert and said the clip was published because of a lack of cultural sensitivity rather than because of racist intentions.
“We can state that racist intentions did not play any role whatsoever. We found a lack of sensitivity and procedural errors,” Hiltrud Werner, Volkswagen’s management board member for integrity and legal affairs, said in a statement.
“Also on behalf of the Board of Management, I would like to formally apologise for hurting people as a result of a lack of intercultural sensitivity,” Werner said.
In the clip, a black man is depicted next to a new VW Golf, being pushed around by an oversized white hand, which then flicks him into a building adorned with the sign “Petit Colon”.
Petit Colon is a real cafe in Buenos Aires, Argentina, located near the Teatro Colon. In French the term translates into “small settler,” which has colonial undertones.
Reporting by Edward Taylor and Jan Schwartz; Editing by Michelle Martin