‘Offensive’ Shaquille O’Neal Gambling Ad Angers Australia

Yeah... nah.

‘Offensive’ Shaquille O’Neal Gambling Ad Angers Australia

Shaquille O’Neal recently appeared in a PointsBet ad that sparked a complaint, as it allegedly portrayed Australian men as stupid. The Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) Code of Ethics has found it not guilty, however.

Australians are known for being able to take a joke, but Shaquille O’Neal’s latest promotional cameo has left many antipodes embracing their inner angsty Americans: a viewer complaint has triggered an investigation into a recent TV gambling ad featuring the NBA legend. The complaint alleges the ad portrays Australia as whistling morons.

The PointsBet ad shows Shaq sitting alongside Australian comedy group The Inspired Unemployed to promote PointsBet’s Australian app. The skit takes place in a back garden of an ordinary-looking house.

WATCH: Shaquille O’Neal Gambling Ad Depicts Aussies As Utterly Unintelligible

Shaq is sitting on a large green esky, while the boys are sitting across from him on a bunch of smaller eskies. After the video begins with one of the boys slapping a fly off his shoulder, Shaq says: “How about this filly in the fifth fellas, put a $50 on it?”

The Inspired Unemployed group responds: “Yeah Nah, I’d give her the old (whistle) ya know? How ya going, how ya been? Nah Yeah Nah, Yeah Yeah.”

Shaq says: “Is that a yes or no?”

The men say: “Nah yep. Greys in the wet, hey. Having a trot you know? (whistle) Good sort. (whistle) Came to play. You know?”

“Up the guts. Good size. Where you going? How ya been?”

Shaq: “You Aussies sure are built different” before finishing with “you know what they call me, mate? Shaqadile Dundee.”

Though a couple of people said they loved the ad, many others didn’t. Comments on Twitter and Youtube soon came in, attacking it. Youtube user Judah A, for instance, wrote: “The boys whistling in between talking is plain dumb. You make Aussie’s look stupid. I have never met anyone who does this.”

Another Youtube user, Steve Jolly, wrote: “What is that whistling, other than stupid. Anybody know what it is supposed to be?”

On Twitter, one social media went as far as to tell Shaq to “f*ck off.”

Another wrote: “I HATE these adds, not only for how they portray Australians (are they shown in the USA?) but mainly because they are repeated again and again from about 4pm in the afternoon (not good for kids to see) and they are incredibly annoying. Have to turn the TV on mute.”

The Ads Standards community panel launched an inquiry into the ad after complainants allegedly reported it as ‘offensive’ and accused it of portraying Australian men as “real stupid yobbos.”

According to The Daily Mail, the complainant said: “It’s offensive to my (sic) as an Australian to see my culture down like this.”

PointsBet reportedly told the Ad Standards panel they “unquestionably believe[s] that the advertisement is wholly compliant with all applicable codes and legislative or regulatory regimes.”

They also said it wasn’t supposed to hurt Australia’s feelings, writing: “Australia, people, and place is known throughout the world to be uniquely different.”

“This uniqueness is a positive trait that extends to our vernacular, places, animals and more.”

“It is a place like no other with its own peculiar take on the English language and sport.”

“In reality, it is common that persons not familiar with Australiana struggle to understand our colloquialisms, mannerisms and the like.”

The panel waved away the complaint after deciding the ad had not actually broken the Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) Code of Ethics.

The panel ruled: “The phrases used in the first version advertisement were deliberately exaggerated for humorous effect, and did not suggest that all young Australian men were stupid or unable to speak intelligibly.”

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