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BP upsets more with demeaning comment about caring about "small people"

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posted on Jun, 16 2010 @ 07:40 PM

BP chairman says company cares about ‘the small people’

WASHINGTON — BP chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg said Wednesday the British energy giant cared about the fate of the "small people" hit by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, vowing to look after all affected.

Emerging from White House talks with President Barack Obama, Svanberg said the British energy giant had "always met our obligations and responsibilities."

"We have made clear from the first moment of this tragedy that we will live up to all our legitimate responsibilities," Svanberg said, adding all claims for compensation would be met "swiftly and fairly."

"We will look after the people affected, and we will repair the damage to this region, the environmental damage to this region and to the economy," he added.


English is a second language for Svanberg, who is Swedish, but reporters took note of his demeaning phrasing, and shouted questions about what he meant after he spoke, which he did not answer," The Huffington Post reported.

However, in Swedish, the words are very similar: "small" is translated as "små."

In a column called "The 'small people' ask, 'WTF?'" NBC News notes, "Reaction has been swift to BP Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg's declaration that BP cares about 'the small people.' And folks aren't cutting the Swedish-born executive any slack for trying to speak colloquially in a second language."

Full Story

I'm sure he meant little people, not small people. Something was lost in translation, even though the Swedish word meaning near the same thing is very similar as the story notes.

And an oil spill dissenter made enough of a ruckus earlier to make Skeptic Overlord remove the BP cares from ATS's new banner on the homepage. This proves they care, but only if your a small person.

Maybe he really meant they only care about dwarfs and hobbits.

posted on Jun, 16 2010 @ 07:43 PM

posted on Jun, 16 2010 @ 07:44 PM
I firmly believe that this was an honest mistake, the product of failed translation. He's Swedish, not American. His English is way better than my Swedish.

He has already apologized and clarified what he meant. I can't hold this against the guy.

posted on Jun, 16 2010 @ 07:45 PM
Maybe this is why they have tried to have a media blackout. It seems like every time one of them opens their mouth they end up putting their foot into it.

Tony Hayward wants his life back. He also said the spill was just a drop in the bucket.

And now this. They seem to have already forgotten about customer relations. They all think they are the "big people" and everyone else is a small person.

posted on Jun, 16 2010 @ 07:46 PM
reply to post by ~Lucidity

Grrrr....sorry. I looked and couldn't find it.

posted on Jun, 16 2010 @ 08:16 PM
Small people...little's the same thing...we're still not as important as the "big guy" in any case...

posted on Jun, 16 2010 @ 09:05 PM
Gees, they take one foot out of their mouth and stick another one right back in it. As reported in the news, he said: "I spoke clumsily this afternoon, and for that, I am very sorry." Well good grief, if they are that CLUMSY with their mere tongue, can we really trust them to not be CLUMSY with technology capable of destroying the planet any longer?

BTW, did Obama live up to his word (or rhetoric)? Did anyone see that Toxic Tony walking around today after meeting with Obama with Obama's shoe up his ass .. or poo on the end of Obama's shoe?

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