Updated: 12:17 GMT
A Spanish insurance company has pulled an advert featuring Liverpool goalkeeper José Manuel Reina, known as Pepe Reina, after accusations it was homophobic and racist in its depiction of black people as ‘stupid, backward, animalistic homosexuals’.
The adverts feature Reina, 29, in a series of tricky situations including being blamed for knocking over a bodybuilder’s motorcycle and being driven on a bus helmed by a woman with bad eye sight.
The Spanish ads all end with Reina singing “I feel safe”.
But one advert has been met with disapproval.
In the film in question, Reina, dressed in full football gear, arrives at an African tribal meeting with an interpreter.
Playing on the fact that his name means “queen” in Spanish, the tribe’s chief tells Reina, “You Queen, me King”.
Reina smiles politely before a garland of flowers is placed on his head and he allows himself to be led off-screen singing the “I feel safe” catchphrase.
Groupama said the advert would no longer be airing on Spanish television after accusations of racism for its depiction of “animalistic homosexuals”.
But it added: “Groupama Seguros does not consider that this advert contains either offensive nor any discriminatory content.”
Simon Woolley, director of Operation Black Vote said: “I’m shocked on so many levels.
“Firstly, how would the Spanish feel if the English stereotyped Spanish people as backward, stupid, and animalistic homosexuals?
“Secondly, what does this say about Pepe Reina?
“The Liverpool goalkeeper has lived and worked in the UK for nearly a decade, does he think it’s okay characterise black people this way? Does he think his black team-mates will laugh at his joke?”
Woolley added to PinkNews.co.uk today that he believed the advert was homophobic.
Liverpool FC was not involved in the film, which only aired in Spain. The club is still dealing with the aftermath of its own race row after forward Luis Suarez was fined £40,000 and banned for eight matches for his racially abusing Manchester United’s Patrice Evra.
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