Samsung 840 EVO: Sexism and racism evolved

Many are questioning the Samsung 840 EVO SSD drive commercial video’s authenticity. Whether it’s meant to be a parody or not, it’s much more offensive than funny.


I’d say my reaction to the embedded Samsung 840 EVO video — if it hasn’t been taken down by now — is more of disbelief than anything else. I don’t really get “offended” by something like a video, commercial, TV show, or other medium. I guess for ME to be offended, I’d have to take something pretty damned personally. So a video of someone stating the top ten reasons CliqueClack and Keith McDuffee suck … that I might label offensive.

I was shown the commercial through Carla on Twitter, where some were saying it felt more like a Funny or Die sketch than an authentic commercial. The video should Die, because it’s not Funny. It’s cringe-tastic, that’s for sure. Everything from the awful stereotypes, the 1950s-like techno-wow dialogue, and the acting is … just wow.

Apparently this is not meant to be a parody video. In fact, reports are that Samsung has begun removing the video from as many places as they can, as it has been removed from official channels on YouTube and from Samsung’s official sites. Nothing says “ohshitohshitohshit!” more than rapid removal of content from the Interwebs.

A man who claims to be the “businessman” in the video has come out on reddit (user Damienf1)¬†with the following:

“Hi. So I’m an actor/model living in Seoul, and im playing the ‘businessman’ in this promo. now, admittedly its not my best work lol, but most people arent aware of just how many factors go into making it this bad. Allow me to elaborate. They force us to speak slowly since this will be dubbed over in Korean, and even when it isnt, most people viewing it will be Korean. They ask us to exaggerate since many Korean people feel thats how we ‘naturally’ act (most people here are not very expressive). Ive worked many jobs where I tried to act naturally only to be told by the director to act more ‘bright’ (ie exaggerate). its how the director and client (in this case, Samsung), WANT us to act. the script is brutal. written by non-native english speakers, and sometimes the PD or director wont even take our suggestions to change some parts so they sound like something a normal native english speaker would say. its a promotional video, not a tv commercial, meaning it will be shown at conventions and expos and in-house. most of the people watching it are korean and thats why they make us do all of the above. edit: almost forgot, shooting took place from 730am – 3am the next day, and by the time they shot the scenes with the girl, she was literally falling asleep in her chair, hence the stoned expression and tone :)”

If that’s legit, then it sure looks like a lot is lost in Korean translation as to what flies in the U.S.. As Bob Degon said, “It does have a certain ‘the script was not originally written in English’ vibe to it.” Time to “evolve” out of those stereotypes, Samsung.

Plus, are SSD’s really that big a deal now? Haven’t we been using them for, like, the past few years now?

Photo Credit: Samsung

3 Comments on “Samsung 840 EVO: Sexism and racism evolved

  1. Why was this post in my news feed? I’m looking for info on tv shows. Not rambling pseudo-political posts about tv commercials aimed at the Korean market that fling words like racism and sexism (where none is) to try to make like this was in any way important.

    Bullshit timewaste.

    (And one word of political advice: Before you bash a major competitor (Samsung) of US companies (like Apple) because of this utterly harmless and irrelevant spot, why don’t you blog about a major US ally like Saudia Arabia. *There* you will find racism and sexism like you don’t believe. But that would be quite uncomfortable, right? Because your business interests are quite in alignment, right? In the end it’s all about USA first, right? But calling others racist. Right…)

    • Guess you haven’t been here in a while. We write about a lot of shit. TV, movies, books. In fact mostly movies lately.

      I have no brand loyalty. I would’ve posted this if it was Apple, whatever. But by your tone I doubt I’d convince you of that.

  2. At first viewing I understood this commercial as meant for a Korean audience. But then, I watch a LOT of Korean dramas, so I’m familiar with how they direct actors to speak English in that slow, exaggerated way. Nothing offensive about it. By the way, Keith, if you’ve never tried a Korean show before, I’d highly recommend starting with one like City Hunter (you can watch it on Hulu). Fantastic story, great production and acting (with the exception of the English dialogue, which only occurs briefly in the first episode, if I recall). I think you and Deb will love it. Once you start watching Korean dramas, you can’t stop, and in terms of character development, I’ve found them far more satisfying than most US shows.

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