Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Pepsi's latest uses spousal abuse to sell soda. Classy.
A lot of people are posting all over the internet comments about this commercial, accusing it of exhibiting a certain level of racism. I can understand why- if you think that black women are routinely portrayed as possessive, aggressive, controlling jerks determined to frighten their spouses into absolute obedience, I totally get why you'd think this commercial just screams Racism.
Personally, I'm too busy being stunned at the Sexism to notice the Racism. When I first saw this ad, I honestly didn't even notice the race of the couple with the horribly disfunctional "relationship." What I did see is a woman being an absolute tyrant and a guy cowering like a beaten dog in her presence, even to the point of hiding in the freaking bathtub in the hopes of enjoying a burger without wife/mom giving him a beating.
I also noticed that the abuse goes beyond the psychological. The guy in this commercial is legitimately afraid of suffering actual physical harm from this woman- and in the "hilarious" conclusion, we see that his fear is completely justified. We also see that the woman's repeated terrorizing of her boyfriend/husband/little boy is not out of concern for his health- when he has the temerity to politely smile at a cute girl, she attempts to damage his skull with a Pepsi can. She throws the can so hard that she takes out the cute girl, knocking her to the pavement. I can only imagine that the last few words uttered in this ad are lost to the hoots and applause of the glue-sniffers who think this kind of crap is even remotely funny.
Can we for a moment just try to imagine an advertisement in which the roles are reversed? Imagine if you will a commercial in which a woman cowers in terror from her husband as she attempts to consume something that has slightly more calories than a plain rice cake- and when she's caught, he looks for all the world like he's going to slap her around (for her own good, of course.) There's no WAY this version shows up on television. Maybe in the 1950s and 60s, but not now. Not a chance. And that's a good thing.
Here's what's NOT a good thing- that this kind of noxious crud is not only acceptable, but on some level FUNNY, to ANYBODY. Psychological abuse isn't funny. Physical abuse isn't funny. And people getting hurt- not funny at all.
Hey, Pepsi- Sleeping With The Enemy was not a comedy. Glad I could help.