A Toyota advertisement featuring Brad Pitt has been banned in Malaysia in 2002 after the country’s deputy information minister ruled that Pitt’s handsome appearance may make Malaysian countrymen feel inferior. “Why must we use their faces in our advertisements?” asked Zainuddin Maidin to London’s Guardian. “Aren’t our own people handsome enough?”
Malaysian government ordered the ads to be pulled because the sight of non-Asian faces such as Brad Pitt’s would “plant a sense of inferiority among Asians,” the county’s deputy information minister Zainuddin Maidin tells the national news agency Bernama.
The widespread ads, were featured on TV, billboards and in newspapers across Asia and were reportedly a favorite target of fans who swiped the posters off public walls and put them up in their own bedrooms.
“Why must we use their faces in our advertisements?” Zainuddin says. “Aren’t our own people handsome enough?”
He adds: “We barred the advertisement as it appeared as a humiliation against Asians.”