Italian airline apologizes over Obama blackface video

London (CNN Business)Italian airline Alitalia has apologized for a promotional video that featured an actor in blackface portraying former US President Barack Obama. “It has since been removed. For our company, respect for everyone is mandatory, it was never our intention to hurt anyone and we will learn from what has happened.” Blackface refers to darkening one’s complexion using paint or makeup. In the United States, the racist practice has its roots in 19th century minstrel shows but it also appeared in Europe. The use of blackface in the video produced a backlash on social media. “This @Alitalia video showcasing a silent blackfaced “Obama” is reprehensive on so many levels: racism, extreme provincialism, willful ignorance of facts, lack of historic …