Dodge Ram has clearly struck a chord with its Paul Harvey-narrated “Farmer” commercial, which aired during the Super Bowl last Sunday. Responses to the two-minute spot, which cut against the rubric of wit, sex appeal and quick-cuts that most game-day advertisements follow, ranged from snark and satire to impassioned defenses of the farmers pictured and the industry they work in.
Issues of race, specifically as they relate to immigrant farm labor, are chief among criticisms of the ad, which predominately features the faces of white men. There’s a female farmer (and a farmer’s daughter) in the mix, and a few ambiguous visages that pass across the frame, but for an industry so dependent on immigrant farm labor, Ram’s representation is far, far too white.
Leave it to the Internet to right the wrongs of Madison Avenue.
Isaac Cubillos would like to introduce you to “Pablo Harvey.” He may speak in the same voice and utter the same words about God creating a farmer as his namesake, but he narrates a slideshow that’s more representative of an industry in which the number of Hispanic farm operators is on the rise, and, according to the most recent National Agricultural Workers Survey, 68 percent of workers were born in Mexico.
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Willy Blackmore is the food editor at TakePart. He has also written about food, art, and agriculture for such publications as TastingTable, Los Angeles Magazine, The Awl, GOOD, LA Weekly, The New Inquiry, and BlackBook. Email Willy | TakePart.com