P. Diddy accused of racism in Ciroc vodka ad casting

sean diddy combs 190209

For the new ads promoting Ciroc vodka, Diddy is looking for attractive girls – but only those with light skin. The casting call, released by Imperative Management, requests girls of certain height and size requirements, as well as only white, Hispanic, and fair-skinned African Americans. Understandably, the casting has sparked considerable controversy.

Hip-Hop renaissance man Sean “Diddy” Combs will be shooting a new television commercial for Ciroc Vodka and only African American women with a light/fair complexion need apply, according to the casting information sent out to by Imperative Management.

The casting call, which is also open to white and Hispanic women, goes on to specify both height and size requirements, stating that only those who meet their criteria will be contacted. The management company’s requirements are sparking controversy, as bloggers cry discrimination.

In 2007, Diddy announced his partnership with Diageo, the spirits company that owns Ciroc Vodka. Under the terms of their agreement, Diddy and his company Sean Combs Enterprises handles all brand management decisions for the vodka. As such, Diddy has appeared in several Ciroc ad campaigns, and also receives 50 percent of the company’s profits.

[From The Boombox]

I don’t want to touch this one because it is such a delicate and controversial issue. I will say that casting calls often rule out entire populations of models – no brown eyes, no blondes, certain weights, etc. However, this is also an issue of discrimination based on race and ties into the issue of skin lightening in print media. While some magazines and makeup companies have been praised for featuring models who don’t fit into the “5’10” 120 pound, blonde, blue-eyed” look, they have also been accused of using lighting and Photoshop to make black women look white. L’Oreal, for one, got flak for supposedly lightening Beyonce’s skin in their ads.

You’d think that Diddy would have thought this one through, but you never know – even though he has a 50% share of profits and stars in many of the ads that may not mean he has final say on what the commercials will look like.

Here’s Diddy leaving a medical building in Beverly Hills on February 29th. Images thanks to WENN .
sean diddy combs 190209

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53 Responses to “P. Diddy accused of racism in Ciroc vodka ad casting”

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  1. hatsumomo says:

    sorry this isnt post related…who is Samhill? And what happened to Dvantev?

  2. morgs says:

    And here I thought Diddy was made from 100% angel parts and butterfly wings! My world has just been rocked.

    This guy screams douchetastic at every turn.

  3. morgs says:

    Samhill is a writer and has been for awhile.

  4. wellthen says:

    Thats really stupid. I HATE how the media only likes to make models/other types of celebrities out of black women who look practically white. They choose women like halle berry with the fine features and light shade of dark skin. Where the HECK are very dark skinned female celebrities?!?!?! Its SO messed up and borderline racist.

  5. Orangejulius says:

    I think some people ran dvantev off for calling someone ‘gay'(when they weren’t gay; he was using it as a derogatory term). He was a little out of line, but I miss him anyway. If you’re out there, dante, come back!

  6. Hieronymus Grex says:

    Sounds like every other rap video I’ve ever been forced to sit through.

  7. boomchakaboom says:

    I guess when enough really dark skinned people start becoming their customer base is when they will start using them as models. It’s called Marketing, and it is by nature sexist and racist. Marketing is not a democracy.

  8. lara says:

    Does his face ever get tired of doing that pout-thing with his lips?

  9. RAN says:

    Yeah….this is one guy that I can’t seem to find one single redeeming quality.

    I have little to say about the racism because it obviously exists in ALL of Hollywood, not just one group of people.

    I have a LOT to say about Dante though… but I’ll keep it short and sweet – Dante – come back! You’ll snarled at all of us at one time or another, but that doesn’t mean we don’t laugh our a@@es off at most of your comments.

  10. Ally says:

    This is absolutely racism, and of a self-loathing variety.

    By his own skin-tone standards, this Diddy douche shouldn’t appear in the ads either.

    It’s a sad day when Vogue or Elle feature beautiful women like Alek Wek, but an African-American promotes this kind of discriminatory standard of beauty.

  11. Kelly says:

    There is an image he wants for this vodka ad, there is nothing wrong with it. If you don’t like what he stands for or represents, then don’t buy his products. Would Victoria’s Secret hire overweight models to model their lingerie??!!? I think not! Get over it people!

  12. Codzilla says:

    That look on his face cracks me up. I’d like to see how he’d rate on the badass scale if he wasn’t surrounded by a security detail at all times.

  13. Raychel says:

    Ugh…this is so fake! Even the casting company has admitted Ciroc & Diddy had nothing to do with this casting call. Plus, all of the Ciroc ads with Diddy have featured a range of women — both light and dark skinned, imo.

  14. Giz says:

    Okay, look at who and what he dates. CLUE!

  15. Tia says:

    Diddy and all other rappers and celebs have always liked bi-racial women.. this should be no surprise. They like the light pretty skin and ‘nice hair’.. It isn’t just Diddy, it is all of them. They equate dark to not being pretty, just like people associate obese people with being lazy, or short men as not good.. shameful and not good. However, it is the the truth

  16. stellapurdy says:

    I can’t stand this guy. How did this jackass ever become famous?

  17. j. ferber says:

    I also miss Vdantev and asked about him on an earlier post. Vdantev, come back. We miss you.

  18. gee_gee says:

    And I’m done.

    I have never been a fan but this seals it. As a “light – skinned” black woman who has a “dark-skinned” sister, I am over Sean Puff Pee Diddy whomEVA. This is Bitchassery, Sean. And you know this.

  19. ANTI-IGNORANCE says:


  20. Dirty Martini says:

    I am shocked. Shocked and dismayed.

    (insert sarcastic eyeroll here)

  21. Zoe (The Other One) says:

    Yep, peg me as shocked (not) too.

    Marketing is usually so anti-discrimination! Ha!

  22. Emmi says:

    His children’s mother is NOT light-skinned so why does he think he can descriminate that way? What a jerk, and his mama ain’t light either!

  23. chillin says:

    Its just about money. He wants to make money and this is how he thinks he will make a lot of it by using light skinned blacks because they seem to be more desirable than the dark ones. Its a wonder he can even keep his mouth closed.

  24. boomchakaboom says:

    Why is everybody all crazy about this? Have you guys never noticed all advertising is geared to one “type” of person or another? I don’t get all this jacked up social outrage over like marketing.

  25. boomchakaboom says:

    oops. I meant “over something LIKE marketing”…just don’t buy the damn vodka and don’t buy his music or clothes.

  26. Joolzz says:

    what does imo mean?

  27. gg says:

    Joolz, it means: In My Opinion.

    I have to say from talking with my photographer friends, that it’s much easier to keep casted talent in somewhat the same skintones for lighting purposes. Too much contrast has to be edited and it’s easier to work some of that out in the casting process.

  28. CeeJay says:

    Did it ever occur to any of you that Ciroc and Diddy want light-skinned girls so they photograph in contrast to Diddy’s yummy, dark, chocolate skin? Not saying I’m into Diddy, but it is a possibility.

  29. sissoucat says:

    There is racism among all of us humans.

    We’re one race, different colors, and colors matter so much to some people, that’s incredible.

    One of my creole friends told me her mother preferred her sister who was lighter…

  30. jkate says:

    Ugh. Why do men dress like that? Why does anyone think that overgrown man-child look is appealing? It just makes me want to look the other way — preferably towards a man whose clothing fits.

  31. jessica says:

    leave him alone its hard for a black man in a white mans world. he’s got standards, no one bitches when a model company says they need 20 size xx small models. well puffy prefers the light berry. leave him alone. He didnt get this far by sayin yeah just give me any old thing and i’ll make magic. he knows what he wants and what he’s gonna do with it.

  32. jessica says:

    at least his pants arent hanging down his ass. i wouldnt say child apperal its actually his own line, and this IS what america is comming to. puffy can wear a fantastic suit when he wants to but do you run around in a suit all day? no, and when your not in a suit your usually in a t shirt and jeans right? yeaaah…..

  33. Liz Conley says:

    I think all the “racism” cards thrown out there these days is PATHETIC! Get over Yourselves already – it’s 2009 not 1969! The whole “crying wolf” is ruining our country!

  34. boomchakaboom says:

    @Liz: I have been finding the loudest cries of “racism” these days come from younger people who have had less exposure to actual racism in their short lives thanks to the people who DID fight for civil rights in the 60’s, but love to shout from the rooftops anytime they think they have discovered an example it. I find this on the internet and in everyday life dealing with young people.

  35. May says:

    As I live in Africa I feel I can throw my two cents in here… Generally fairer African skin is regarded as more attractive. Same way as whites prefer the look of skin that’s tanned. Go figure.. blacks want to be white and whites want to be black! Frankly I can’t wait till we are all a nice mocha colour 🙂

  36. Fige Bornu says:

    P-Diddy is a spent force as a result of this fiasco. He is now the equivalent of a plane crash with no survivors. And good riddance because obviously he will do anything his white Hollywood/NYC bosses tell him to do in order to pay his rent.

    We now as a community must finally and forever weed sukers like P-Diddy and others out and proclaim them enemies of our state.

    Fige Bornu, Chairman
    Positive African Image Institute

  37. boomchakaboom says:

    Fige, eff off.

  38. M says:

    Interesting point: When Beyonce promotes in various parts of Asia where light skin is considered particularly attractive, she basically paints herself white… Its about appealing to the greater portion of the market..

  39. Toni says:

    I guess he wasn’t Raised In The Sun. P Diddy you are as Dark as I am, And I know and have constantly been reminded of being a real live Dark Child. Man, with me, that was your only redeeming quality…except I thought you did great in that movie.

  40. johnQ says:

    The thing with p-diddy is that if you really look at him ,he’s just a wana be. He was the same way @ Howard. He always used the light skin girls in his photo shots. Dude, really wish he was a white boy ,but would never admit it. He dam sure think he’s Frank . Dude ,you aren’t even close to being at the same level as frank. You are just a wana be rapper!

  41. johnQ says:

    Take most R&B black girls. They all push this black hip hop crap ,but they all are trying to look like white girls who live in the valley. Take Dumb girl Rhiana,she is always trying to look like a Barbie doll. But when we saw that mug shot, boy that head was nappy and that forehead was looking so Chicago ghetto! The same thing for Beyonce and Tara banks. They are always talking that black crap ,but yet working hard every day to sport the white girl “valley girl” look. HA! what a mixed up group of people. Just one black dude calling out the madness i have been seeing in the last 10 years ,that’s all, when it comes to hip hop and R&B. Embarrassing!!!

  42. DMan says:

    Discrimination to achieve a desired effect has always been done especially in advertising and entertainment its known as targeting an audience. The problem is that P.Diddy was bold enough to do so outright rather keeping it behind the scenes. Because he is a black man and expected to target and cater to blacks its controversial to eliminate them as candidates. Truth is he is targeting a larger demographic which only makes perfect business sense in his efforts to maximize sales.

    It actually says more about those who think its other than a business decision and their limited perspective on the situation.

    Oh well you know what they say, “ignorance is bone deep”.

  43. big man says:

    I find women of all shades and shapes to be attractive. Its whats in the soul that makes them beautiful. But then I’m an old dude, raised with old values!

  44. SBT2 says:

    WOW! This topic went in so many different directions,I have no idea where to start. Ok here we go – As owner of a product,Diddy has every right to choose who he wants to advertise that product.Many of you call him a loser,wanna-be etc. but in actuality this guy is sharp as a tack.He has more money than God (sorry God) and he is smart enough to know how to spend that $$$. He has a clothing line,liquor product(s),reality TV shows,2 or 3 restuarants,if Im not mistaken I think he has his own record label and God knows what else.You dont like his looks or the way he dresses so,dont walk next to him.Im sure there are plenty of people that dont like your looks.Now as far as racism goes,people were screaming racism before I was born AND for good reason.People (and now not just blacks) are still screaming it today.I can only speak for myself, I watch,hear and read about cases of racism.There are true cases in which the wrong should be righted.Then there are cases that are false and it makes the entire race look bad.I wish blacks and others would start standing up and instead of pointing the finger at everyone else,they start looking at themselves.I know alot of white people that embarrass the hell out of me and I call them on it.If others did the same we would all be in a better place. But it always seems like its “whiteys” fault.I was raised,thankfully,free of racism and I now raise my son the same way (what a concept) and Im getting tired of being a racist because I just happen to be white.In the beginning of this comment, I stood up for Diddy and hopefully explained why I did.In today’s enviroment,my son is in school with a wide variety of different races.They are all learning the same content.So,I dont think my son years down the road feel bad about getting a great job over another race.He has earned that job and if others would stop worrying about their 3 pointer or jump shot and start doing their homework,years down the road he might not get that great job.Lastly,everyday I see on the tv a guy that did everything he was suppossed to and put him because of hard work in the position to campaign in the whitest of white states and the blackest of black states and now he is the President of the free world.I dont see any signs of racism there.Maybe the black youth of today (along with their parents) should at Barack as a role model.Start doing the right things and look how far you can go.I sometimes think its easier to say its someone else’s fault instead of their own. But who am I, Im just a white guy trying to do the right thing.It would be nice if I was met half way. Peace!

  45. Dyana says:

    Anybody who thinks that the fact that Diddy and Ciroc denied having anything to do with these casting standards actually means that they really didn’t know about them is being naive. Of course they had to distance themselves from them once they were “outed;” it would have been commercial suicide to admit their involvement. Diddy is in charge of brand management for Ciroc –he shapes its image. Do you really think that the Atlanta promo company just happened to make up some standards that just happened to correspond to the type of women Diddy’s always parading around in public and in his other videos? That’s too much of a coincidence for me.

  46. socialtalker says:

    SBT2: “I wish blacks and others would start standing up and instead of pointing the finger at everyone else,they start looking at themselves.” WHAT?!?! are you paying attention to the story AT ALL? its about black women addressing discrimination by a black man. or did you even READ the freaking story? I know folks like you very well, you leave sloppy footprints all over the damn internet, you have probably written this same variation of your rant all over the comments sections and forums on any issue that remotely touches on black folks. Try to find another hobby, why dont you?

  47. bluehand says:

    What’s astonishing is how many people on here actually believe racism is ok when it’s business. Drug dealers & killers make money every day; that doesn’t make it right. I hope/pray that p.diddy’s business fails. Hey it’s just business.

  48. informer says:


    shut up women aren’t suppose to possess beauty

  49. After reading through the article, I just feel that I really need more information on the topic. Could you share some more resources please?

  50. ciroc boy says:

    I dont think he did it

  51. BeccaShakur says:

    I wouldn’t complain about this if I had darkskin, who would want 2 be in an ad for a legal poisonous chemical anyway? This is why Diddy got this endorsement anyway, to sell poison 2 his people.
    P.S.- Diddy’s not so light his damn self, but I’m sure he can’t see that behind his police glasses he and Akon love sporting.

  52. Whatever says:

    REALLY..why do we have to continue with this issue? Whatever the reasons people have for choosing blue over brown eyes, blonde over black hair, short over tall, etc. It is their preference, but for some reason the “black” issue continues on as a slap in the face. Get freaking over it people. We have a black president, black music awards, Miss Black America, Ebony, the list goes on and on….can’t we just enjoy the moment?? Making an ISSUE out of whether we are too black or not black enough is just making blacks look bad and like poor losers. “They aren’t picking me cuz I’m black” is not the case here. It is a casting requirement. Find something else. Quit making it a racist issue. This is just ridiculous.