Still Incomprehensible - Macleans.ca

Still Incomprehensible

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I guess you heard about how a Snickers ad starring Mr. T was pulled due to complaints about “stereotyping and bullying.” I’m not one to complain about political correctness, because such complaints have in themselves become PC (and eventually it’ll be politically correct to complain about the political correctness of complaints about political correctness), but I just don’t see it. The speedwalker isn’t identified as gay, and Mr. T doesn’t shoot him with the Snickers gun for being gay, he shoots him for being a speedwalker. It is anti-speedwalking. Now, how eating Snickers bars is supposed to get you in better shape, I’m not sure. But judge for yourself.

Now, as the link notes, the complaints weren’t necessarily just that the commercial was homophobic but that it stigmatizes any activities that are considered to be “unmanly,” which is to say, any activities that are associated with that skinny guy from the Charles Atlas ads. But stigmatizing people for being wimpy or not macho enough is a time-honoured advertising tradition. It’s like the male equivalent of ads that stigmatize women for not being supermodel-skinny: it cynically plays on our worst fears. But all advertising does that

Besides, there is documented film evidence that Mr. T is a Boy George fan. So you know he’s a good guy.

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