In the current political climate with everyone on the lookout for alt-right dog whistles and symbolism, a recent Lil Caesars commercial has caught the eye of alt-right sympathizers and trolls across the web.
Although one would think that every corporation in the world would be on high alert for anything that could even potentially be perceived as anti-semitic, racist, or hateful in any way, this new commercial appears to be completely clueless that one of the actions in this advert could easily be seen as very offensive.
The advertisement depicts several office workers contemplating purchasing Lil Caesars new $4 lunch combo.
Once they note how good of a deal the new sale is, they begin to rub their hands in a way that is strikingly similar to an old anti-semitic cartoon, the happy merchant.
According to meme database KnowYourMeme, the Happy Merchant is a “cartoon portraying a male Jew based on anti-Semitic views, giving it characterizations such as greed, manipulative, and the need for world domination.”
Many of the commenters on the YouTube video believe that the commercial is anti-semitic.
“Over 6 million pizzas sent to the oven,” said one commenter, referencing to the 6 million Jews who died in the Holocaust.
“I’M ORDERING 1488 OF THEM TOMORROW,” read another comment, referencing to the coded language used by neo-nazis.
1488 is a frequently used code by white supremacists, a reference to the fourteen-word slogan “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.” The 88 simply stands for Heil Hitler, with “h” being the eighth letter of the alphabet.
Of course, the action of rubbing ones hands together can also be associated with flies and super villains, who also rub their hands together when plotting.
This commercial potentially serves as a Rorschach test. Do you see an anti-Semitic action? Or do you just see some happy office workers ready to pounce on a good deal? Is this an alt-right dog whistle? Or an innocent mistake?
Let us know in the comments below.