“Is your skin colour holding you back? Are you tired of systemic prejudice ruining your day?”
MTV’s latest campaign for its ‘Look Different’ anti-prejudice initiative is thought-provoking and mildly unsettling.
Offering “professional white advantage solutions”, White Squad is a (fictitious) company that acts on behalf of people of colour who are having trouble with securing housing, winning scholarships, or even hailing a cab. All employees are pre-screened to “ensure their names and appearances provide maximum benefits to you”.
Viewers are encouraged to visit the website, whitesquad.com, which continues the themes of the video, introducing the team and providing FAQs.
With a bit of clicking around on the site, it crashes, leaving us with the message: “White privilege is real. White Squad is fiction”, before redirecting to the Look Different page.
Whilst offering a satirical perspective, the campaign addresses privilege issues head-on as viewers face statistics on the advantages of having the ‘correct’ skin colour.
Reaction on social media has been mixed, with some suggesting the video promotes divisiveness and is therefore inherently racist.
Others argue the uncomfortable nature of the video makes it all the more thought-provoking and effective.
And some just don’t seem to know how to take it.