A client hired me to film two events for her bluegrass society. When I finished the rough cut, she decided the videos weren’t “diverse enough” (they were bluegrass concerts, after all).
Her solution? She had me film her talking to, and hugging, some black people to cut into the video.
I was making an advertisement that featured children playing in the snow. The client used a horrible stock image account and finding a lot of pictures to choose from was almost impossible but I managed to find a good one of two little kids making an igloo.
The kids just happened to be Asian.
Client: Can you find a picture of kids that aren’t ethnic?
She actually forced me to find a picture of white kids instead. I actually felt sick to my stomach.
Me: You want your main character on the cover, okay. What does she look like? I need to find a model that matches.
Client: She’s a person of color.
I appreciate the sensitivity, but I might need a bit more information than that.
I worked as a designer for
an advertising company that mostly dealt with small businesses, a lot of which were
in small towns in rural areas. When designing an ad that needed stock photos of
people, I always tried to include multicultural images. Most clients thought
that was great.
Client: What’s with these images? We’re not in Toronto! Please use images of CANADIAN patients!
I was speechless. I just sent back an ad with the whitest people possible and didn’t work with him again.
Client: I need you to make a few changes to my website. Do you this type of work?
Me: Sure! Please send over your FTP password and I’ll get started on it.
Client: Here you go: FUmohammedS0B$$$$usa
That was his actual password.
The woman in this ad looks a little too close to possibly being Hispanic. Can you find someone more generic looking?The woman in this ad looks a little too…
I worked with a client that we all suspected was a bit racist, so when she needed some stock Halloween photography for a promotion I decided to test her limits and see how racist she really was.
Client: I need a picture of kids, or just one, but really cute and with a nice costume. I want fun and classy, ok? No tacky costumes or anything.
I showed her the first option, an eight year old Asian girl with a beautiful purple/blue monster costume.
Client: Um, no. She’s ugly.
I was already shocked, but then I showed her the second option, a five year old black boy dressed up as a superhero in a really a cool white and blue suit.
Client: Oh, no. Next.
The third option were two Hispanic children, ages five and three, dressed as a fairy and an elf.
Client: Ugh, these kids are disgusting. You know what? Just find me a picture of a pumpkin.
She really, truly believed that non-white children were “disgusting.”
She was fired not long after for unrelated (?) issues and I kept working with the company. She should count her blessings - I’m Hispanic, and she won’t have to work with someone as disgusting as me anymore.
Client: We’re in a really good place. We like what you’re doing with the articles. The board thinks things are going well, we’re pleased with our progress. But we have one point of feedback. In this article, the title refers “people of color” but the photo is of an Asian man. Are Asians people of color?
Me: Well, do you think they’re white?
Client: No. But are they people of color?
Me: By definition, any “person of color” is not white.
Client: Well, who decides that?
Me: It’s general usage, and typically it’s up to people in racialized groups to decide what they’re called.
Client: I see… but are they really people of color?
The couple in this ad looks ethnic. Not that that’s a problem! But could you do another version?Not a racistThe couple in this ad looks ethnic. Not that…