ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:
The genealogy company Ancestry has removed and apologized for an ad that featured a fictional pre-Civil War romance between a black woman and a white man.
(SOUNDBITE OF AD)
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: (As character) There's a place we can be together - across the border. Will you leave with me?
SHAPIRO: Then text says - without you, the story stops here. As many people pointed out on social media, the ad overlooks the fact that during slavery, many relationships between black women and white men were forced, not consensual.
Ancestry is just the latest company to stumble over a racially offensive advertising campaign. A couple of years ago, Nivea tried the tag line white is purity. Last year, Ram trucks aired a Super Bowl ad that paired a Martin Luther King speech with the line built to serve. And just a few months ago, Gucci apologized for a turtleneck sweater that depicted blackface. So why does this keep happening?