At the weekend, the Apartheid Museum won a gold Loerie – a top industry prize - for a powerful radio ad, created by the advertising agency TBWA Hunt Lascaris Johannesburg.
The ad juxtaposes quotes from apartheid politician HF Verwoerd and US president Donald Trump, who sound alarming alike in their racist pronouncements.
After the Verwoerd voice proclaims that “Blacks cannot rule themselves”, and “Let us all accept that the black man is the symbol of mental inferiority and laziness”, Trump follows with "Laziness is a trait in blacks. It really is, I believe that.”
"If the words of apartheid prime minister HF Verwoerd and president of the United states Donald J Trump taught us anything - it’s that there's never been a better time to learn from the mistakes of our past,” the ad ends.
Except – those weren’t their words.
The Trump quote, apparently voiced by an actor, has not been substantiated, and should be viewed with some scepticism, the Washington Post reported two years ago.
It comes from the 1991 book “Trumped”, written by a former Trump Plaza executive, who claimed that Trump once said that “laziness is a trait in blacks.”
The quote used for Verwoerd apparently comes from a speech attributed to PW Botha on the internet, but the "speech" is reportedly a hoax.
After the ad was aired on the show, he shared it with his social media followers, who alerted him to the problems.
“You can’t use lies to try and tell a truth,” Codrington told Whitfield in an interview on Thursday evening.
In response to the revelations, Andrew Human, CEO of the Loeries, said that the ad is problematic and that the awards organisation is taking the situation very seriously. “We are waiting for the agency to give us a detailed response.”
The Apartheid Museum is a critical national resource, which has to be above reproach, presenter Whitfield observed. Both the museum and TBWA Hunt Lascaris Johannesburg declined to comment to the show.
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