Posted on October 28, 2021

New Orleans Tourism Ad Didn’t Reflect Demographics of City, Prompting Apology and Removal

Doug MacCash,, October 26, 2021

A 30-second video issued by New Orleans and Co., a publicly funded tourism booster agency, was meant to send the message that after a few weeks of disruption caused by Hurricane Ida, the Crescent City was ready to receive visitors.

But some observers concluded that the video, titled “The New Orleans you love is back,” painted a rather narrow picture of “the New Orleans you love.”

In the jaunty production, a middle-aged White couple dines at an old-line restaurant, attends a nightclub show, wanders a museum, and window shops, while encountering very, very few Black people.

A fleeting glimpse into the restaurant kitchen and the arrival of a wandering jazz band are the only times Black people can be clearly discerned in the video. The population of New Orleans is 60% Black, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.


{snip} Criticism of the preponderance of White characters soon surfaced on social media, prompting New Orleans and Co. to issue an apology via Facebook.

“The overall feedback was that this piece wasn’t fully representative of the New Orleans experience that so many of you know and love,” the agency wrote. “For that, we apologize, and we thank you for bringing this discussion forward.”

But not everyone forgave the partially tax-supported agency {snip}

“The ad was clearly biased and exclusionary, trying to appeal only to a small segment of the market,” one commenter wrote. “Frankly, it was cringe-worthy.”

“An all-white cast is the furthest thing from representing the city you could produce without actually filming the spot in an Olive Garden in Toledo,” another commenter acidly opined.