"Crying Indian" anti-pollution ad to be retired for good

Introduced in 1971, the public service ad showing Iron Eyes Cody in stereotypical Native attire, shedding a tear at the sight of a polluted and smogladen modern landscape, is to be retired from service. Though one of the most effective PSAs of all time, the depiction of an indigenous person as a symbol of nature and custodial responsibility is, to say the least, a museum piece.

The nonprofit that originally commissioned the advertisement, Keep America Beautiful, had long been considering how to retire the ad and announced this week that it's doing so by transferring ownership of the rights to the National Congress of American Indians.

"NCAI is proud to assume the role of monitoring the use of this advertisement and ensure it is only used for historical context; this advertisement was inappropriate then and remains inappropriate today," said NCAI Executive Director Larry Wright, Jr. "NCAI looks forward to putting this advertisement to bed for good."

The guy was Italian anyway. I'm amazed to learn it's still in use.