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Seinfeld Super Bowl Acura Ad Faces Controversy Over Casting Call For Black Actors: 'Not Too Dark'

The Huffington Post  |  By Posted: Updated: 04/18/2012 3:28 pm

Seinfeld
A scene from an Acura ad now facing controversy over discrimination in casting.

Think black actors have it tough in the movies? If casting standards for the Super Bowl Acura commercial with Jerry Seinfeld were any indication, the advertising world might be worse.

The gossip site TMZ obtained a casting sheet specifying that the actor playing the African-American car dealer in the Acura commercial be "nice looking, friendly, not too dark."

Someone connected to the ad's casting told TMZ that the skin tone restriction was to avoid problems with lighting and special effects.

Acura on Wednesday issued a statement: "We apologize to anyone offended by the language on the casting sheet used in the selection of actors for one of our commercials. We sought to cast an African-American in a prominent role in the commercial, and we made our selection based on the fact that he was the most talented actor. The casting sheet was only now brought to our attention. We are taking appropriate measures to ensure that such language is not used again in association with any work performed on behalf of our brand."

TMZ said it obtained the document through an African-American actor who didn't get the part.

The ad features an African-American car dealer apologizing to Seinfeld because he is No. 2 on the list to get a new Acura NSX sports car. Seinfeld spends the rest of the spot trying to bribe No. 1, ending in a surprise confrontation with Jay Leno.

UPDATE: This story was updated April 18 at 3:20 p.m. to include a statement from Acura.

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