When you logged on to Google this morning, did you even notice that it was a watermelon? I’ve got to admit, at first glance, I didn’t notice it. It was only the folks on Twitter who convinced me to take a second look, and guess what? That does appear to be a black dude running on top of a freshly cut watermelon. …. or maybe it’s just a track. Sure does look a lot like watermelon, though.
Since the beginning of the Olympics, Google has been posting a doodle per day in coordination with the selected Olympic event of the day. Up until now, however, none of the doodles bore any resemblance to watermelon. It is only the track doodle, a sport with a good deal of athletes with African ancestry, that has replaced a watermelon for a track field.
This is not the first race related controversy of the Olympic games. NBC drew criticism when it aired a monkey gymnastics ad right after Gabby Douglas’ win. NBC later provided an explanation, but not an apology:
“Gabby Douglas’ gold medal performance last night was an historic and inspiring achievement,” NBC Universal spokeswoman Liz Fischer said. “The spot promoting `Animal Practice,’ which has run three times previously, is one in a series with an Olympic theme, which have been scheduled for maximum exposure. Certainly no offense was intended.”
So are these racial incidents somehow related? It is hard to tell whether these incidents are instances of subtle racism, or whether it’s all just a bit overblown.
What do you think? Are the folk at Google trying to get a few digs in at the expense of black people? Or are we just reading too much into this? What do you see?