About a month ago, I explored the outrageous idea of maybe not getting so outraged in 2014. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I don’t think I could handle another 2013. My blood pressure was so high that I was sporting a non-pleated permarection. All year.
And, for the most part, we were doing OK. But this week … oh lord, this week.
But when I took a closer look at this week’s key dividing moments online, I realized something: nobody’s actually arguing with anybody.
The Vatican threatened legal action, while Head American Catholic Blogger Bill Donohue blogged some, over a picture of Pope Benedict XVI kissing Imam Ahmed Mohamed el Tayeb. Meanwhile, the White House endured some stupid questions in the press room, this time over the picture of President Obama kissing Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.
All in all, Benetton’s “Unhate” campaign has been a success. They’ve only had to pull the picture of the pope, and everyone else has helped make sure we all know the-damn-well who they are. And all it cost was about $200 for a Photoshop license.
The Aussie “Cricket Survival Guide” commercial shows a white man in a crowd of cheering black cricket fans. The Australian fan, named Mick, asks “Need a tip when you’re stuck in an awkward situation?” and then hands a bucket of KFC fried chicken to the black fans. The YouTube video had more than 250,000 views Wednesday afternoon and viewers left more than 3,300 comments.
KFC Australia told Adelaide Now that while the ad could be perceived as racist, it was misunderstood by the American audience.
“It is a light-hearted reference to the West Indian cricket team,” the company said in a statement. “The ad was reproduced online in the U.S. without KFC’s permission, where we are told a culturally-based stereotype exists, leading to the incorrect assertion of racism.
“We unequivocally condemn discrimination of any type and have a proud history as one of the world’s leading employers for diversity.”
The UK’s Change4Life campaign — which links playing video games with obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer — could draw fire from Sony for using a PlayStation-like controller in their print ad. Legal fire, that is, which — as we all know — is the third hottest fire that’s possible (behind orphanage arson fire and burning Benjamins in front of a hobo fire).
The magazine ad in question features a young boy obviously not enjoying himself while holding a dual analog wireless controller, similar to that used with the PlayStation 3 and its predecessor. The print warns that even healthy-looking inactive children risk cancer, diabetes, and heart disease once they reach adulthood. Sony Computer Entertainment Europe is currently considering legal action against the ad creators.
Now, having an active lifestyle? Top notch. Alluding that playing video games is a direct cause of not having an active lifestyle? Not as top notch. Using an ad that essentially equates their product with killing kids? Get ’em, Sony.