Video promoting Montreal's cultural heritage pulled over lack of diversity
Published Friday, April 28, 2017 12:26PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, April 28, 2017 7:45PM EDT
A promotional video for Montreal’s heritage was pulled from the city’s website and Facebook pages after garnering backlash over its lack of diversity.
The video, which was meant to celebrate the city’s cultural identity, was criticized online for featuring only white people.
Montreal officials issued an apology, saying the video doesn’t sufficiently represent the values of inclusiveness and equality.
The two-minute long video, part of an effort that’s been dubbed "Operation Patrimoine,” shows different Montrealers like artists and a priest in locations like museums. On Facebook, several commenters pointed out there didn’t appear to be a single non-white person.
Mayor Denis Coderre said he was outraged when he saw the video.
“They made a mistake. We're sorry, it won't happen again, end of story. If it happens again, I'll kick ass. That's it, alright,” he said, adding that he has always had a close relationship to the city’s many cultural communities.
“That was a bad video. It looks great and all that but it doesn't represent (us) -- at the end it says ‘identity in Montreal,’ this is not the identity,” he said.
It’s not the first time a promotional video for the city has been accused of being tone-deaf. In November, an organizer of Montreal's 375th celebrations apologized after another video also was accused of only featuring white people. The video was later reshot.
In July, 2016, members of Montreal’s black community said the city was not doing enough to ensure they were being represented in the celebrations and that suggestions on activities and events to fill that void had been shot down.
"It speaks to the continuing disconnect between the city of Montreal and its ethnic minority communities," said Egbert Gaye, editor of Montreal Community Contact, which serves Quebec’s black and Caribbean community.
"Twice we've seen them put out videos misrepresenting Montreal," he said.