Here’s a different take on my view.
No one is offended that the billboard suggests a precursor to violence. No one is offended that it’s two women involved in violence. If it had been two white women, one in a white suit, one in a black suit, nobody would say a thing.
Furthermore, nobody has said word one about the version of the ad where the black woman is dominating the white woman. And I’m willing to bet that if that image had been on the billboard instead, nobody would have said a thing. At least not publicly.
So ask yourself, honestly, why it’s offensive to you. Because the billboard doesn’t depict slavery. Not in the slightest. If the black woman was picking cotton, and the white woman was standing over her with a whip, then hell yes it would be offensive. But it’s just two people squaring off, and one of them has the upper hand. So why does it matter to you which one that is?
Because if we really want to reach the level of equality in our society that we all say we do, we need to stop dwelling on the past. Slavery is abolished. Has been for a good long time. Not a single one of us Americans owned slaves, or was a slave. It was a horrible period in time, but it’s over. Being oversensitive about things like this billboard is what’s keeping this racial tension alive. If you ask yourself honestly, you may find that you don’t actually think the billboard is offensive, but that you’ve just been taught it’s offensive.
Stop making race a big deal, and race stops being a big deal.
(PS, Kudos to whoever designed the ad campaign for accomplishing exactly what was intended; to spark discussion and bring attention to Sony and the product)