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Black Tokyo Makes the Huffington Post

Last updated on August 17, 2010

Black Tokyo’s post on the eMobile CM has made the Huffington Post. Mr. Earnest Harris in his article, “Mobile Phone Monkey Business: A Japanese Primate Plays Obama” wrote:

“The ethnic tensions stretched taut by the campaign and that have roiled U.S. culture for the last half year rippled across Japan when reports surfaced that a television ad for Japanese cellular telephone provider eMobile starred a monkey as Barack Obama.

“The response from black people in Japan and others, once news of the ad spread, was swift. Cries that the depiction was raw racism and an insult to Obama and all Blacks drew a denial of any knowing wrongdoing from eMobile. Spokespeople for the company assured the press that there was no racist intent on the company’s part and it meant in no way to demean Obama or Black people. The company pulled the ad within hours after the story broke.

One of the first outlets to key on the ad was the website and blog Black Tokyo, which is edited by Zurui, a Black American who has lived in Japan for many years. “While change is good, having the candidate depicted as a monkey is not!” he wrote soon after the ad first aired:

Click here to read the Huffington Post article.


  1. […] Wanting to be able to get online in the comfort of my own hotel room or company apartment away from home, I decided to check out mobile internet service in Japan. My first and only stop was EMOBILE. You know the one; the mobile phone/internet company with the monkeys running around with keitais saying “arienai” in their TV commercials. There was even some controversy surrounding one of the monkeys in their commercial wearing a suit in an apparent Barack Obama reference. You can read more about this at Black Tokyo […]

  2. […] informed that snow monkeys appeared in other ads) and tried to spin the CM as just a parody of Barack Obama’s CHANGE campaign (and not Obama himself) were battling with cognitive dissonance or just plain […]

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