In the spot, currently airing on Mexican television, Donovan attempts to sneak into Mexico by pretending to be a "real Mexican" guy (the peasant type, if you know what I mean) wearing a big hat, a colorful poncho and -- what else? -- a huge mustache.
"I'm mecsicano," he says to the guard with a heavy gringo accent.
Not to be fooled, the guard peels off his mustache and says: "Of course you're not, you're Landon Donovan."
As soon as the "gringo" gets caught by the guard, he runs away blurting out a profanity -- leero! -- often shouted at him during soccer games against the Mexican team.
I'm pretty sure the spot would raise a lot of eyebrows in the U.S., but in Mexico -- where political correctness has failed to catch on -- these images are culturally acceptable, or at least not even considered controversial, including the use of the illegal immigration issue or the stereotype of the "typical Mexican" to pitch a product (not to mention the fact that the product is a gambling game by a Mexican media giant).
Interviewed this week about the spot, Mexican author and social commentator Carlos Monsiváis said Mexicans do not care about these images, simply stating that: "It's hard to have national pride offended by something like this."
I couldn't agree more. Although I wonder if we find it extra funny simply because the stereotyped Mexican in question happens to be, well, a gringo.
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