‘A smile, a cheeky giggle, even a simple nod in agreement’: Taika Waititi explains how easy it is to give to racism

Taika Waititi dips into the tropes of charity advertising as he fronts a new campaign by Clemenger BBDO for the New Zealand Human Rights Commission.

In a short video currently running across the Commission’s social channels, Waititi calls on New Zealanders to give a little to racism, even if it’s only a smile, a cheeky giggle or a nod in agreement.

“Racism needs your help to survive,” he says.

The point Waititi, of course, makes is that New Zealanders need to do more to wipe out the casual racism that continues to pervade society.

A small nod in agreement with a racist remark makes people think it’s okay to hold those views and leads to persistence of those comments in society. And while a small gesture somewhat indifferent gesture might not seem like a big deal to the person making it, those on the receiving end of casual racism definitely feel the impact.               

“… to the people receiving the racism, they’ll be getting hundreds of bits every day. So it will add up. It will be noticed,” says Waititi.

The Waititi video serves to launch the New Zealand Human Rights Commission’s ‘Give nothing to racism’ campaign, which has already attracted support from a range of celebrities, including Sonny Bill Williams, Broods, and Miriama Kamo, among others. The Commission has also released a series of street posters to push the cause.  

Each of the celebrities is featured in a short video showing them laughing before abruptly stopping.

Members of the public are also invited to record their own video clips and make a stand against the casual racism that’s often dropped into daily conversations. 


Client: NZ Human Rights Commission
Agency: Clemenger BBDO | Touchcast
Media: OMD Wellington and Fuse
Production Company: Curious Film
Photography: Match Photographers 

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