A Polish brewery has sparked backlash after releasing an advertisement for its new beer called “White IPA Matters.” The advertisement has been called racist, with some claiming that it is an attempt to “exploit” George Floyd’s death.
The ad, by Mentzen Brewery, which is owned by right-wing politician Slawomir Mentzen, depicts a Black man drinking the beer, with symbols from America’s Deep South surrounding him, including a Confederate flag.
The Black man is seen performing his duties at the bar as the camera focuses on the symbol. A patron walks into the bar and slides the beer to the Black man, who sips it and says: “This is what I needed.”
Since the release of the ad, the brewery has received countless complaints which claim that it is racist and should be taken down.
Rafal Pankowski, a Polish sociologist and head of the “Never Again” Association’s East Europe Monitoring Centre, addressed the backlash: “The beer exploits the death of George Floyd and the racist backlash to the global Black Lives Matter movement.”
He added: “The producer plays with racist history and symbolism of the US south. By getting a Black person to drink this disgusting beer for promotional purposes, they mock the victims of racism. No decent beer drinker should ever pay a penny for this far-right, fund-raising stunt.”
The company has yet to respond to the allegations and complaints.
Mentzen, the brewery owner, is a member of Poland’s right-wing Confederation party and he contested two elections, – the 2018 local elections in Torun city and the 2019 European parliament elections – losing both.