Shock the Monkey? (Obama Monkey Ad)

Why do some of the Japanese commercials come off so wrong and preju-(racist)-dice? They deliver all the visual cues to say this is the campaign of one Barack H. Obama and then cast the man behind the podium as a monkey. Hey maybe the monkey is a highly sacred/special animal and this is the highest honor that can be bestowed on a fellow human being? Or maybe they share the racist lore and tenets of the rest of the world and feel a strong need to show it off? Either way, you have to wonder at what point is this a good idea.

The monkey is actually the company's mascot, and they were trying to get in on the Obama hype.. unfortunately while being oblivious to what this would mean to Americans and many others around the world.
Here's an older commercial with him [here].
To Japanese, the snow monkey is actually a symbol of Japan. All the comments on articles on this controversy are of disbelief that Americans would be offended by this while they see it as a cute animal imitating Obama (not portraying him), and even annoyance that Americans assume that their "racist lore" is true the world over.

I agree that the ad is offensive, but the truth is that portraying a person as a monkey does not have the same history or meaning in every culture.

Thanks Hana!
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