By Larry Burris
All-in-all, I would say it’s been a pretty bad week for advertisers and their representatives. Not because of the ads themselves, but because some companies and famous people in the ads feel they have to apologize to the thought police.
Jennifer Lawrence was accused of cultural appropriation over a series of ads admiring Mexican equestrians. Apparently part of the problem is that the ads were shot in southern California rather than northern Mexico. I’ve been to both, and don’t see a whole lot of geological difference, but some people seem to think the ads would have been more “authentic” if they had been shot in Mexico. As if the advertising is authentic to begin with.
Then the thought police got upset with Sarah Michelle Gellar because she used ads from a 2007 campaign to remind herself not to overeat this past Thanksgiving. Apparently it’s a problem if you remind yourself to have a healthy meal because some people don’t, and they may be offended if you try to use moderation in what you eat.
What I find particularly interesting is that in many cases it only takes one or two people to say they are upset and then complain, usually on social media. Suddenly hundreds, if not thousands of people have been convinced they need to be offended.
Then there is the issue of so-called “cultural appropriation,” the idea that particular kinds of clothing, foods and words belong to one culture only, and are not to be used by any other culture.
Actually, if we look back at American history, we see that every culture has adopted parts of other cultures, and until recently, no one seemed to care. It appears that some people have nothing better to do than to parse every word or phrase to see if there is some way to make it into a problem. And there is absolutely nothing someone won’t make into a problem, even if there really isn’t one.
I’m Larry Burriss.