MTV is now offering more than music and reality TV. The broadcaster just introduced the "White Squad," an unusual new service for people of color. Promoted in a new ad, the "professional white advantage service" consists of a group of Caucasian folk who will stand in for those whose skin color is "holding them back." Those who sign up for it will get a stand-in who will pretend to be them when hailing a cab, applying for scholarships, buying a house, getting legal help or other scenarios in which Blacks, Hispanics, Asians and others face systemic prejudice. The White Squad also has a real phone number 1-855-WHT-SQAD (1-855-958-7723) and website providing more information.
The integrated parody campaign, created out of Party NY and directed by Evan Silver and Howard Grandison, is part of MTV's multi-year-long integrated campaign, "Look Different," which aims to inform about and combat race, gender and sexual orientation-related bias. The "Look Different" site also provides tools and exercises through which people can examine their own implicit biases and see how others' lives are affected by the advantages or disadvantages that come with race, class and gender prejudice.