Hot on HuffPost:

See More Stories

'Small People' Remark: BP Exec Is Sorry for Unintentional Slight

4 years ago
  0 Comments Say Something  »
Text Size
He didn't really mean to say "small people" when referring to victims of the oil spill, you see, what he meant was: "BP understands how deeply this affects the lives of people who live along the Gulf and depend on it for their livelihood."

BP Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg backed away Thursday from remarks he made outside the White House on Wednesday after his executive team met with President Obama and pledged to set up a $20 billion compensation fund. Obama, Svanberg told reporters at the time, "is frustrated because he cares about the small people. And we care about the small people." Svanberg said he knew that some people view large oil companies as uncaring, but at BP, "we care about the small people."
BP Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg
The comments, coming after BP CEO Tony Hayward's line a few weeks ago that he wanted his life back, rubbed some Gulf Coast residents the wrong way. "We're not small people. We're human beings," Justin Taffinder of New Orleans told the
Washington Post. "They're no greater than us. We don't bow down to them. We don't pray to them.

Svanberg is Swedish, so there may have been a translation issue that resulted in an unintentional slight. In his "what I was trying to say" statement Thursday, he said BP's intentions "will best be conveyed not by any words but by the work we do to put things right for the families and businesses who've been hurt."
Outbrain - The Most Trusted Content Discovery Platform

Get Your Content Discovered.

Promote your content on premium websites

Learn More ›

Outbrain Amplify:
Get your content discovered

Your content will be promoted on the web's largest and most respected media properties, including, Slate and ESPN. We make sure it's seen precisely when people will find it most interesting.

Learn More

Outbrain Engage: The solution for a modern publisher

Outbrain Engage is a full stack software solution that empowers an entire media organization to more effectively manage its online content and programming experience.

Learn More

The world's largest content discovery platform

We bring together premium publishers and marketers of all sizes (including many of the world's leading brands) into the world's largest and most vibrant content marketplace. Learn more about Outbrain ›

561 Million

The global audience reached by Outbrain each month*

190 Billion

The total recommendations we serve consumers monthly


Of the world’s leading brands use Outbrain

* Audience reach according to comScore, September 2014. Leading brands via Ad Age DataCenter / Kantar Media, 2014.

Andy Blau
We selected Outbrain not only because the revenues were higher than others, but because its engine drives better recommendations than others.
Andy Blau
Senior Vice President, Group General Manager
Time Inc.
Dan Horowitz
It's less about buying traffic than it is about reaching the right people with relevant headlines to get them to your content.
Dan Horowitz
EVP and Senior Partner
Fleishman-Hillard Digital
Katrina Craigwell
Our goal is always to deliver content that adds value to the conversations being held by the end user. Outbrain allows us to do just that.
Katrina Craigwell
Global Manager of Digital Marketing
Bailey Foote
The fact that we’re able to drive these kinds of transactions with consumers at scale and with increasing efficiency has made Outbrain paramount to our marketing strategy.
Bailey Foote
E-commerce Manager
The Line
Neal Moore
You cannot leave it to chance that someone will find and engage with your content. Outbrain can put your content in the midst of the world’s most prestigious publications.
Neal Moore
Zach Zavos
Having links to our content appearing directly on premium publisher sites helped us establish our brand.
Zach Zavos
Conversant Media
Mike Brito
Outbrain is one of those [critical] components helping us deliver the right messages to the right contingent at massive scale and in real time to counter a crisis.
Mike Brito
Group Director

A global footprint of service

We operate offices in 11 global territories and we partner with publishers and marketers in over 55 countries, including the U.S., UK, France, Brazil, India and Japan. Come join us ›

Our New Approach to Comments

In an effort to encourage the same level of civil dialogue among Politics Daily’s readers that we expect of our writers – a “civilogue,” to use the term coined by PD’s Jeffrey Weiss – we are requiring commenters to use their AOL or AIM screen names to submit a comment, and we are reading all comments before publishing them. Personal attacks (on writers, other readers, Nancy Pelosi, George W. Bush, or anyone at all) and comments that are not productive additions to the conversation will not be published, period, to make room for a discussion among those with ideas to kick around. Please read our Help and Feedback section for more info.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum Comment Moderation Enabled. Your comment will appear after it is cleared by an editor.


Filter by:

I would have to guess that BP's Chairman Svanberg probably didn't intentionally mean to hurt anyones feelings or offend anyone by his 'small people' remark. You have to realize that this is just the way that 'those people' talk all the time, and it just slipped out. And also you have to realize that 'those people' live a base level of existence, although they think VERY highly of themselves. There is no true spiritual values on a base level. But don't they look very "illuminated" in appearance?? Anyways $20 billion dollars is a nice gesture on their part, but compared to the way our President hands out $800's of billions of dollars, it feels like pocket change...(they may have to cough up more than that...) It is amazing how the hugest ongoing thought from BP on how to contain the oil spill must have been- How can we capture all that oil that's gushing out...we can't just stop it or we'll lose all that money. If oil is at appx. $70 per barrel, how much is 60,000 barrels a day going to bring?

June 17 2010 at 5:11 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
I love USA

as English is not this gentleman's first language....this is did not upset me at all...he is just trying to say "Main Street" citizens....and "Main Street" people are "little" in Washington DC politicians' mind. BUT NOT FOR LONG...NOT ONE OF US HAS FORGOTTEN THAT OBAMA AND HIS DEMOCRATS SPIT IN OUR FACES WHEN WE SAID "NO OBAMACARE" AND THEY IGNORED THE AMERICAN PEOPLE......NOT ONE DEMOCRAT WHO VOTED FOR OBAMACARE AND/OR SUPPORTED IT WILL BE RE-ELECTED!

So leave this gentleman alone and hit on our real problem.....Washington DC!

June 17 2010 at 4:13 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

I wonder who the little people really are? It sure isn't the wealthy or rich... Perhaps, small people makes for an angry group... This is funny, really... Almost like those who always complain, minority use the race card. So some White people have a problem with this European referring to them as "small people." Too funny, really...

June 17 2010 at 4:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Whether you like it or not, politicians who would fight to protect the oil industry and not make sure certain safety precautions were in place, also think you're small, implies or otherwise. Don't get mad at the truth. It's been staring you in the face for quite a while now.

June 17 2010 at 3:47 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

The comment made concerning "small People", was made by a person whose English was not his native language so the criticism of what he said was thoughtless. In fact, there are plenty of native Americans whose English is pretty bad so don't criticize foreigners because their second language is no better.

June 17 2010 at 3:36 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply

The democrats think by having a show trial in congress, that it
will help their chances in November. Sorry it wont work.

June 17 2010 at 3:30 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

This is silliness. I am in the process of learning a foreign language, and know first hand how hard it is to find idioms and figures of speech that move from one to the next. I heard his remarks live. I noticed overall his words were very mildly awkward, but when he said "small people" I could tell right away by his inflections that he realized he hadn't translated in his head what he wanted to say.

June 17 2010 at 1:05 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to ix's comment

I agree it is silly. I, too am learning a foreign language and know exactly what you mean. Must we always, always, publish every little nuance of anyone at BP? Please, let's grow up.

June 17 2010 at 1:25 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

I know a BP employee said this, but let's crucify Obama for the remark. Right guys?

June 17 2010 at 12:45 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to HAHAHAHA's comment

More than a little paranoid aren't we Foxnewstoldmeso?? There are valid acts and deeds that Mr. Obama has done to further his political agenda which many of us will rightly criticize him for. Most intelligent people will realize that the chairman of BP is limited in the English language as it is a second language to him and merely mis-spoke. They will not "crucify" him or Mr. Obama for the mistake.

June 17 2010 at 1:20 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Follow Politics Daily

  • Comics
Featuring political comics by Robert and Donna TrussellMore>>
  • Woman UP Video
politics daily videos
Weekly Videos
Woman Up, Politics Daily's Online Sunday ShowMore»
politics daily videos
TV Appearances
Showcasing appearances by Politics Daily staff and contributors.More>>