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Tesco responds over accusations of cutting Black actors from advert

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Tesco has released a statement addressing accusations that the supermarket cut two Black actors from a recently-released advert.

Earlier this week, model and actor Vanessa Vanderpuye shared a video on her Instagram Story in which she spoke about being cast in a Tesco food advert.

In the video, which is no longer available to view, Vanessa began by paying homage to the 2020 Sainsbury’s Christmas advert, which she described as ‘beautiful because it just features a Black family’.

Stating that she is often cast as a ‘token Black girl’ in projects, she said: ‘To be cast as a dark-skinned couple for the new Tesco commercial, I was so excited because I’d never seen that before on UK TV screens.’

Vanessa said that after seeing the advert on TV for three days, she called her agent to note that she hadn’t seen herself or her co-star in the finished product.

The actor came to the conclusion that they had been cut from the advert, stating: ‘They didn’t say why, they didn’t say anything.’

Vanessa discussing her involvement with the Tesco campaign on her Instagram Story (Picture: Instagram/Vanessa Vanderpuye)

Following accusations that Tesco cut the actors from the advert due to their race, the retailer shared a statement with Metro.co.uk highlighting the supermarket’s commitment to diversity.

Tesco denied that the actors’ race had anything to do with the decision for them to be cut from the advert.

‘At Tesco, we believe that diversity in our business makes us stronger and our advertising campaigns are designed to represent everyone, showing the breadth of the communities and customers we serve,’ the firm said.

‘Our Food Love Stories campaign has featured many stories from people of all backgrounds.’

Tesco explained that the company has spoken to Vanessa about her involvement in the advert.

‘We were sorry to hear that Vanessa was unhappy with the way our advert was edited, and we immediately reached out to her to explain the reasons and process behind the decision.’

Metro.co.uk understands via a source that the decision to remove a scene featuring Vanessa and her co-star in the Tesco Food Love Stories campaign was to do with the advert’s storyline, and that it was in no way related to race or background.

Metro.co.uk has contacted Vanessa for comment.

Earlier this week, Sainsbury’s released a statement in defence of its Christmas advert after some consumers pledged to boycott the supermarket over its decision to feature a Black family in its festive campaign.

‘We want to be the most inclusive retailer where colleagues love to work and customers love to shop,’ a Sainsbury’s spokesperson said.

‘We are proud that our advertising represents the diverse communities we serve and our Christmas campaign features three stories of three different families.

‘Sainsbury’s is for everyone and it’s important to us that our advertising reflects this.’

Several people applauded Sainsbury’s over its campaign, with one person stating: ‘Best Christmas ad of 2020 in my opinion.’

 


Credit: Original article published here.

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