Scandinavian Airlines Ad Sparks Outrage

'What is Scandinavian for real? Absolutely nothing'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 12, 2020 2:10 PM CST

Scandinavian Airlines temporarily removed an online ad after criticism on social media, particularly from anti-immigration parties, that the video detracts from the region's culture and history. The video, titled "What is Scandinavian for real? Absolutely nothing," was uploaded Tuesday and was taken down hours later, the AP reports. The video says that what is usually considered to be Scandinavian—like democracy, open sandwiches, parental leave and Swedish meatballs—has been imported and Scandinavia was "brought here, bit by bit, by ordinary people who found the best of our home in other places." Richard Jomshof, a lawmaker with the anti-immigrant populist party Sweden Democrats, said the video is "really devilish nonsense and self-hatred. Have always tried to fly with SAS, but never again. It's a promise."

There was plenty of criticism on social media from non-politicians as well. Bo Kleis Christensen wrote on Facebook that SAS "crossed a vital cultural boundary for us, ordinary people." The airline said it stands by the core message that travel enriches people. But it added that the reaction online to the ad suggested an "online attack," without elaborating. "We have therefore temporarily removed the film from our channels," it said. However, as of this story's posting, both a short and a long version of the ad were back on the airline's YouTube channel. Between them, they had about 1,500 thumbs-up and about 38,000 thumbs-down.

(Read more Scandinavia stories.)

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