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Coca Cola’s Super Bowl commercial was a refreshing sight, but also left a bitter taste in the mouth and tweets of many.
The ad, which aired during the blowout game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos, featured the song “America, The Beautiful” sung in a variety of languages from people across the world.
The one-minute segment shows footage of people of different ethnicities, religions and sexual orientations – including the first same-sex couple in a Super Bowl commercial.
The commercial was meant to be a tribute to the United States’ multicultural and multiracial makeup, as well as a nod to the country’s immigrant history.
But minutes after the commercial aired across the country, angry viewers took to social media for an onslaught of concerns over the multilingual portrayal of the patriotic song.
Many called out the soda company, questioning why an English-speaking country would advertise in different languages and that Americans should “speak English.” Others attacked the portrayal of Muslim Americans, calling them “terrorists” and other racial epithets.
On Twitter, the hashtag #SpeakAmerican even began treading, as people waded in on both sides of the debate.
"Nice to see that coke likes to sing an AMERICAN song in the terrorist's language. Way to go coke. You can leave America," tweeted @tylerwyckoff24.
@BornUnderReagan tweeted: “Dear Coke, Your commercial is a slap to the faces of my Italian and Finnish ancestors who came here & learned English. #AmericaIsBeautiful”
“WTF? @CocaCola has America the Beautiful being sung in different languages in a #SuperBowl commercial? We speak ENGLISH here, IDIOTS” tweeted user @iResistAll.
@RealTrueCon said: “#Characters in these Cola commercials, from Mexicans to Indians, learn to #SpeakAmerican already! Or better don’t be in em.”
And @tedbrewster tweeted: “America being overridden by multiple cultures and languages will divide and weaken us, not make us stronger. #SpeakEnglish #SpeakAmerican.”
Others defended the soda company, saying the ad honors the United States’ diversity and immigrant heritage.
@fleaskeys tweeted: “If you're complaining about the biracial Cheerios couple & the multilingual Coke commercial, you can buy a one-way ticket back to the 60's.”
“Thanks @CocaCola for reminding us that we are beautiful because of and not in spite of our linguistic diversity. #AmericaIsBeautiful” wrote @AshleyKarisson.
@CTL360 wrote: “Coca Cola has done a beautiful job with this #superbowl commercial mind blowing and heart warming all in one”
Here is the ad that caused the controversy:
Listen to Naomi, who sang "America the Beautiful" in Spanish.