The fast food chain removed its 'General Custard' ad from circulation after Native Americans excoriated it as 'gross' and 'not funny'.
Custer falls to Native Americans once again.
Fast food chain Sonic Drive-In pulled its controversial ‘General Custard’ commercial less than a week after receiving a deluge of messages online about the ad’s insensitivity toward Native Americans.
Communications Manager, Jason Acock, told Indian Country Media Network they quickly realized “the humor obviously missed the mark” and have since pulled the commercial from circulation.
“(The ad was) extremely insensitive, and so we deeply are apologizing to our guests and thanking them for making us aware of our missteps,” Acock told ICMN by phone.
The commercial sparked outrage last week when the company used the likeness of infamous Indian killer General George Armstrong Custer to promote its frozen custard.
“Are you like a riverboat captain?” a character says in the commercial.
“I am General George Custard and you should address me with respect!” the man in the Army officer’s uniform responds.
Almost immediately, Native Americans excoriated the ad – one Twitter user calling it “gross” and “not funny.”
“We have received good feedback from customers for making the change and we do sincerely apologize for our insensitivity,” Christi Woodworth, VP of Public Relations, said in an email to ICMN. The company also directly responded to complaints on its Facebook and Twitter pages.
Next to President Andrew Jackson, the architect of the Trail of Tears, and President Abraham Lincoln, who, in a single hanging, killed 38 Native Americans, General Custer is considered one of Indian country’s most evil zealots. His hubris eventually got the better of him when he was defeated at the Battle of the Greasy Grass in June 1876. The event is remembered as “Custer’s last stand.”
Although the ad is no longer making its rounds on air, the commercial continues to live on YouTube.
Culture Editor Simon Moya-Smith contributed to this report.