Ikea: black Swede is not a fit for the Greek Market?

Swedish actor told he 'can't be black' for Ikea advert
Photo: Private
 From: The Local Sweden
UPDATED: A Swedish actor has complained of discrimination after he was told he “can’t be black for the Greek market”, in an e-mail rejecting him for a role in an Ikea advert. But the casting company says he was put forward for the job.
Fernando, a Stockholm-based stand-up comedian and actor, was cc’d on an e-mail from the flat-park furniture giant’s UK-based casting company to his Stockholm agent. 
Fernando said Ikea’s press office had been understanding.
“He can’t be black for the Greek market Sorry,” the e-mail read.
“I was sad and angry,” Fernando, who doesn’t want his surname published, told The Local after SVT first broke the story. “It’s common that these things happen, saying it to your face, but not actually to get it in an e-mail.”
But Tracie Saban, one of the owners of the casting company, Crocodile Casting, said that Fernando was in fact put forward for the job, along with another black actor and an Arab man despite not fitting the brief, “just to expand it a bit”.
“We saw his video upload and put it on our link which we sent to our client,” she said. “He knew he was put forward for the job, so for him to say that is a lie. Nobody got the job. It was cancelled in the end because of script changes.”
In early November, Ikea began looking for Swedish actors who could star in an advert to be broadcast in Greece before November 24th, the date of the so-called “Black Friday” shopping festival. 
“The actor needs to be really good at comedy, with a dry sense of humor,” the brief read next to a link to the Youtube video below.

Although the brief seemed to specify a white person who would suggest a more stereotypical image of “Sweden” to a Greek audience, Fernando thought he met enough of the requirements to apply. 
“I said, so I’m a stand-up comedian, and I sent a link to them of my showreel,” he said.
A day later, Fernando was included in the e-mail to his agents.
Saban denies his claims that Crocodile casting was “not polite” when Fernando rung to complain.
“My partner was almost in tears. She spoke to him for an hour on the phone,” she said. “He got his apology on bended knees. We felt so bad that he felt that that was a racist comment. It wasn’t at all, it didn’t come from any bad place in our heart, because we’re not like that.”
She said that after the phone conversation and an e-mail of apology, Fernando had seemed happy until he went public three months later.
Ikea told SVT that the company had indeed included skin-color suggestions in the brief for the advert.
“Sometimes you are looking for a blond man. Sometimes you are looking for a dark-haired woman, an Asian one or a South American,” Jakob Holmström, the company’s press spokesman, explained.
“There’s nothing unusual about that in itself. What’s unfortunate is the way this was formulated when he got a rejection.”
Fernando’s agent Fia Hammarström, who is part-Thai, said she was considering dropping Fernando for going public with his complaint.
“This will hurt other people in the agency as well,” she said. “I have 42 people in my agency and I know how the casting companies work, and they will be afraid to take him in.”
Saban said her and her partner were upset at the way “a very snappy e-mail with bad grammar” had been used to stir up a media controversy.
It’s been misconstrued and exaggerated to make us look like racist casting directors, which we’re not because we push for all inclusive casting all the time, especially in this country, we’re always saying ‘can we bring multi-ethnic people in?’.”
She said this even applied to the Greek market. “We’ve done loads of commercials for Greece where we cast black actors,” she said.
Fernando said Ikea’s press office had been very understanding, but he had wanted to speak out because he found it frustrating that advertisers and drama producers in Sweden so rarely cast black actors in ordinary roles. 
“They say they want a Swedish actor, and I came here when I was six years old, so I don’t know what more I can do to be Swedish,” he said. “It’s 2018, we are living in a multicultural country. So what is a Swedish actor? Is it a white actor?”
But it has also won plaudits for adverts which break down stereotypes and prejudices. 
Its Hooray! To the Wonderful Everyday advert, which came out last November, was praised by Michelle de Leon, the founder of World Afro Day, which celebrates wild afro hairstyles, because it “shows a black family and their curly, kinky, afro hair, living the good life”. 
She wrote in The Guardian that the advert had been the first that made her and her daughter “feel good to be black and British”.
“If this is a watershed moment, it’s been a long time coming,” she said.
Here’s a video of Fernando made by his agent, Hammarstrom.



Greek women forced into prostitution for ‘the cost of a sandwich’ because of country’s debt crisis

Sex workers
Desperate: Women in Greece are being forced into the sex trade for as little as $2

By: Richard Wheatstone/UK Mirror

Women in Greece are being forced to sell their bodies for sex for as little as the cost of a sandwich because of the country’s crippling dept crisis.

A new report reveals how more women are working as prostitutes and many are selling sex for as little as 2 dollars.

Report author Gregory Lazos of Panteion University in Athens said there are now around 18,500 sex workers in Greece.

He added the going rate for sex has tumbled from $53(US) before the country’s financial crisis.

Professor Lazos told The Times: “Some women just do it for a cheese pie, or a sandwich they need to eat because they are hungry.

Hungry: A report says some women are having sex in exchange for food (stock picture)

“These cases — about 400 — may be nominal compared with the thousands of other sex workers operating nationwide, but they never existed as a trend until the financial crisis.

“Factor in the growing number of girls who drift in and out of the trade, depending on their needs, and the total number of female prostitutes is startling.”

The Greek academic’s findings suggest that Greek women now dominate 80 per cent of the sex trade industry, where the majority of prostitutes used to original from eastern Europe.

Only ten of the country’s estimated 525 brothels are thought to be operating with a legal license.

Greece: Pictures of Drunken British Tourist Appearing on a dedicated Facebook page.

  • Turns Out KAVOS Was Ready For YouTurns Out KAVOS Was Ready For You

The drunken antics of boozed-up Brits going wild in a notorious Greek island resort are now appearing on a dedicated Facebook page.

Photos of passed out tourists in the Corfu hotspot of Kavos include party-goers unconscious on pavements, in hospital beds and being carried out through the streets.

The Turns Out KAVOS Was Ready For You site was set up by a local worker called Silvar Laidlow who has posted selfies with beleaguered boozers.

Turns Out KAVOS Was Ready For YouFallen down: An apparently unconscious girl appears on the Facebook page dedicated to the drunken behavior of Brits abroad

A shocking video shows a man drenched in sweat, with glazed eyes, dancing wildly at a nightclub while another shows a woman on a beach struggling to get her skirt on. More footage features a drunk floundering in the sand unable to stand.

One of the most disturbing videos shows a young man with what appears to be blood dripping from his eyebrows with a caption adding: “wen sum1 shaves ur brows wiv a knife”.

Turns Out KAVOS Was Ready For YouWorse Wear: Turns Out KAVOS Was Ready For You has been set up by a local worker: Some of the revelers are snapped on the sand after indulging on their holidays

There are a string of selfies including one featuring a man passed out on the ground with a half finished cocktail balanced on his head and the caption, “I couldn’t help but catch this poor lad out…”
Turns Out KAVOS Was Ready For You

Another picture shows a lad sleeping on the toilet feet away from naked revelers with a caption that reads: “Missed out on jumping in the Jacuzzi with 4 absolute stunners!!”

Turns Out KAVOS Was Ready For You

Another man’s prostrate body is covered in half-eaten food so friends can play a fast food version on Buckaroo, with the caption adds: “Think he’ll be staying in tonight!!”

A naked teenage boy curled up in a ball by the toilet is snapped with the message, “The Poor Kid Didn’t Stand A Chance”. Turns Out KAVOS Was Ready For You

Slumped Over: People take snaps of passed out revelers and then post them on the social networking site

One selfie shows a young man giving the thumbs up as a friend lies unconscious on a hospital bed wearing an oxygen mask and attached to a drip, with a caption that reads: “This Guy Luckily Had Insurance….”

This picture has been ‘liked’ 42 times with person commenting: “This will be ME”

Turns Out KAVOS Was Ready For You

Many of the candid camera shots are far from flattering.Another pic shows a topless reveller lying flat on his back in the street with arms outstretched. Other images include friends carrying a shoe-less girl through town above the caption: ‘This is the Kavos version of the NHS”.

A video taken from inside a nightclub shows a drunken man attempting to dance – seemingly unaware he is lying on the seemingly unaware he is lying on the floor half asleep.Turns Out KAVOS Was Ready For You

 This picture shows a man apparently passed out during a meal

Another clip captures a man staggering around as his friends try to steady him, before he falls backwards and appears to hit his head on a plant pot.

Meanwhile, a young thrill seeker is sure to regret the new tattoo on his right thigh, depicting the logo of Piri-Piri chicken chain Nando’s with the words: “Oi oi, cheeky Nando’s on me”.

Unfortunately for him, that particular image has been shared almost 200 times and received almost 2,000 comments.

Monday’s Sump Pump

One Pill makes you LARGER and one pill makes you small 

Zero to sixty in 19 days…….    Its taken nearly twenty days …  20 days before someone in the Republican Party to condemn Donald Trump’s Racist Statement about Mexico and Mexicans.  Marco Rubio was the first to speak out against Trump followed by Mitt Romney,Jeb Bush and Rick Perry.   With NASCAR joining a list of companies abandoning LA DON expect more Republican to follow. The challenge for the GOP is to somehow convince Latino voters it was just a dream.

Hillary Clinton will Sacramento’s Mayor Kevin Johnson wont   KJ dosesn’t want the public to see private emails he sent to an attorney while he was involved with The National Conference of Black Mayors  Must be somethin juicy  inside  La Mayor sued Sacramento News & Review, to stop certain emails from becoming public. A judge is likely to rule on Thursday. get you napkins ready.#juicy

 AGAIN! Okay, like who hasn’t need Kim Kardashian nakkkkkkkkkkkked!  Right?  Kanye’s wife is threatening to sue a company selling pictures of her while she was lying NeKKid by her pool.  TMZ says the company removed the picture from its web site.  Probably until her mom works out an equable deal .

OOPSIE !  In da big tomata you have a choice.  You can see fireworks show downtown or at Cal Expo.   Cal Expo near the center of town is by far the favorite venue. Thousands pay to park their cars to see the fireworks.  According to report,s 10 minutes into the show ,sparks from the firework cause several small fires.  The event was cancelled.  They haven’t decided  if they are going to issue parking issues. #howrude

CHEAP GREECE? With Greek Voters choosing to leave the EU, the country will reissue its own currency the Drachma. Before Greece joined the EU one dollar equaled nearly 340 Drachmas. can someone say SALE!

#Confused  A few years ago K street businesses said K Street should be opened to traffic ,its would benefit business.   On weekends K Street is often closed to traffic. #whattrafficitsKstreet

#1 (this week)

More faithful to hairdresser than hubby?


When, after 20 years, my mother “broke up” with her stylist (he had evidently lost his touch because people had started to tell her, “Oh, you’ve had your hair cut,” with no further comment) it required a cigarette, then a serious phone call incorporating a planned speech, heartfelt thanks and a sober goodbye. It had been a loyal, happy relationship and she was shaking afterwards.

Such fond attachment to the one who wields the scissors is apparently typical: a study this week reveals that more than half of British women count their hair stylist as one of the 10 most important people in their lives.

Women stick with this relationship for an average of 12 years; marriage tends to last a mere 11. And for 10 per cent of women, proximity to their beloved stylist is a consideration when moving house.

Sadly, I am still searching for romance in this regard. Instead I’ve been cursed with a wretched series of one-night stands, during which I’ve been variously transformed into Hillary Clinton, Paul McCartney circa 1964, Frankenstein (“Mom, you look like that monster with bolts in his neck”) and, misguidedly, a flapper.

My high school graduation photo captures a particularly bad bouffant hack job. I had to point myself out to my six-year-old, who scornfully replied: “What – that boy?” I yearn for a meaningful relationship but, despite doggedly searching, I’ve never found The One. I’ve seen off three stylists in the past six months.

Possibly I try too hard. I’m witty, attentive, I listen. I know a remarkable amount about their lives: the grit of their failed relationships, their awful personal tragedies, each cocktail and smooch of their luxury holidays.

If we make it to a second encounter, I can refer to specifics: “And is your mother managing after the upsetting news about your father? How is X? The daughter still being difficult … ?” I want to know. For those 60 or so minutes, I care. But sadly, there’s always something missing; a tragic reason we can’t be together (with Elena, it was moving back to Greece; Charlotte, for all her silver-tongued talk, left me granny-grey).

And occasionally we begin on a bad note – such as on the dire occasion of my 40th birthday, when Peter kept me waiting for 20 minutes. Sensitive to the theme of middle-aged invisibility, I stomped to my coat, prompting a cry of, “but you were 20 minutes early!” I shamefacedly agreed to a coffee, then felt obliged to perform like a seal for the duration. Even if the affair is doomed, one still hopes to be liked.

For while women may boast of unshakable solidarity with their stylist, many know the guilty pleasure of being seen to by a more talented junior while their supposedly perfect match enjoys yet another Florida holiday – because how can you betray a person (to their face) who has nurtured you, made you feel beautiful, who is party to all your secrets, weaknesses and complaints about close family members?

That money exchanges hands must remain irrelevant; this is an alliance of respect and friendship. Meaning that, even if this person crafts your crowning glory into an approximation of a tortoiseshell cat in a gale, only a monster would say, “It’s not lovely.”

Admittedly, I once found myself memorably liberated from all salon protocol after handing over my 10-year-old son to an Eastern European stylist who proceeded to give him a girl’s bob. Miserably, reluctantly, as it dawned on me that I had a duty of care to the small owner of the reflection in the salon mirror, I stopped nodding and roared, “Stop!”

My husband took our son to the barber, where masculinity was restored. I chose to stay at home – where I continue to wash my hair.

Europeans try their luck in Germany

Photo: DPA

As the financial crisis in Europe continues to put pressure on job-seekers, thousands of Greeks, Spaniards and Portuguese are coming to Germany – to escape economic problems in their native countries.


In Frankfurt, young Spanish academics apply for jobs at the Spanish language institute Instituto Cervantes. And at an association for Greek academics, founder Gregorius Thomaidis is flooded with registrations almost every day from people who are looking for new opportunities in the Rhine-Main area.

Community colleges and Goethe Institutes all over the country are reporting an influx of well-educated Southern and Eastern Europeans for German language courses.

The financial crisis in Southern Europe as well as the possibility of establishing oneself and being able to work in other EU countries is what attracts increasing numbers of Europeans to Germany.

According to the Federal Statistics Office in Wiesbaden, in the first half of 2012, 306,000 foreigners from other EU countries moved to Germany – 24 percent more than the first half of the previous year. Experts consider this to be a success.

“We should be happy about this immigration,” said social scientist Steffen Kröhnert from the Institute for Population and Development.

Between 2002 and 2010, Germany’s population decreased by about 800,000 people. Moreover, there is a need for young and qualified professional newcomers in the ageing German society. “This is the gap that the immigrants are filling,” said Kröhnert.

Many industries are on the lookout for trainees including those in trades as well as small and medium sized businesses in rural areas. “Young people from Spain and Greece could be specifically recruited for these positions,” she said.

“The rising number of immigrants most notably from the crisis-hit Southern European countries shows that the EU freedom of movement has been successful,” said Gunilla Fincke, director of the Expert Council of German Foundations on Integration and Migration, in Berlin.

Unemployed people from countries hit by the financial crisis make use of the opportunity to work in the economically better off nations of the EU. “This benefits everyone: Germany can do away with the shortage of skilled workers, while the EU citizens find work and unburden the job market in their home countries,” said Fincke.

People from the crisis-countries are mostly well-educated professionals and young, ambitious, high school graduates. They should, however, be systematically supported, she said.

Professor Herbert Brücker from the Federal Employment Agency in Nuremberg said this of the immigrating hopefuls: “We can absorb this workforce well.”

In 2011, immigrants were much better integrated into the job market than the earlier surges of foreigners. The new immigrants – Southern Europeans as well as the biggest immigrant group, the Poles – are also well qualified. But owing to their high qualifications, both Kröhnert and Brücker are sceptical about whether they will help solve the shortage of nurses facing the country.

Last summer, at least three or four fellow Greeks registered themselves at Thomaidis’ association for Greek academics. They all want to either move to Germany or are already living in the country with relatives.

“They come from all kinds of fields, but there are especially a lot of scientists,” he remarked.

Most immigrants fall in the 24 to 40 year age group: people who have lost their jobs in their home country or don’t have any prospects there.

Thomaidis, a retired surgeon, concluded, “If the situation in Greece doesn’t improve, there will be many more people moving to Germany.”

DPA/The Local/mb