This sign hangs from the ceiling of our favorite local pizza buffet. It’s a barely humorous ad, and I didn’t consider it bad in any way. But then, I’m not Italian. I could see an argument for Italians taking offense at “rustic” being considered particularly Italian.*
This is a national restaurant chain, and presumably a national ad campaign. But have you heard any news about any Italians or Italian-Americans or any Tonys being upset over this portrayal of them as rustic? Or that Tony is a stereotypical Italian name?
The concept got me thinking about how something like this is okay for one group, but probably wouldn’t be okay for another group.
Say the restaurant had a new squid pizza:
Any more Japanese and we would’ve named it Akira
A curry style:
Any more Indian and we would’ve named it Guru
An “urban” style (vice “rustic”):
Any more Urban and we would’ve named it Lebron
A Mexican style:
Any more Mexican and we would’ve named it Jose
A koshur style:
Any more Jewish and we would’ve named it Hiram
Would such signs be acceptable? I would bet such signs would stir up controversy and anger. There might be opinion articles decrying the insensitivity, protests against some ‘ism, calls to boycott until the company “made things right.”
So, is it that Italians are undersensitive? Or is everyone else oversensitive?
* rustic -from Dictionary.com
– of, pertaining to, or living in the country, as distinguished from towns or cities; rural.
– simple, artless, or unsophisticated.
– uncouth, rude, or boorish.
– a country person.
– an unsophisticated country person.