A Super Week?
Laurie K. Schenden
As Super Bowl approaches, CBS is getting spanked for allowing an ad from a religious group that features quarterback Tim Tebow and insinuates that you might birth a world-class athlete if you don’t abort him first, but then disallowed two ads that feature gay characters.
Last Sunday gay groups shook a finger at the Grammy Awards for nominating Buju Banton, the reggae singer whose little ditty about killing and burning fags earned him the hate monger moniker.
As a journalist, I tend to support a person’s First Amendment right to free speech. Without that, the United States would be like other countries that dictate what a person can or cannot say (and wrongly assume that they won’t think it either). I believe it’s better to know what others are thinking.
After reading the statement from GLAAD, the LA Gay & Lesbian Center and others regarding the Grammys, it looked like a good opportunity to show that hatred and discrimination still exists against gay people in the 21st Century. But if they were really serious, they could’ve come up with a stronger message, maybe a boycott or presenters and winners wearing pink ribbons.
But the fact is, Buju Banton of Jamaica wrote the song “Boom, Bye Bye” in 1988, when he was 15 years old and his country was raging about a rape case involving a young boy and an adult male. Since then, he’s become a top-selling reggae artist whose written songs against violence, raised money for children with AIDS, and a host of other activist works. He’s not some uneducated dolt, although he still carries a chip on his shoulder when it comes to gay men. He may have disappointed his own fans anyway, since he missed the Grammys, jailed on a drug charge.
As for the Super Bowl hyperbole, I didn’t have a problem with CBS airing the Focus On the Family ad, though I worry about the dads out there who might persuade their pregnant partners to take dysentery medication, thinking it might better their chances for a Heisman trophy winning son.
But when CBS turned down the other two ads, it looked suspicious.
The ManCrunch ad for the men’s dating service has gotten all the publicity it needs at this point, for free. But I admit that I cringed when I saw the ad.
It wasn’t a little romantic kiss. We see one guy devouring the other, with his ass in the air mooning us, writhing for the camera like he’s humping a football. I guess it was suppose to be funny. But if I’m watching the Big Game and two men, women or one of each, start making out, I’m screaming, “hit the showers fools, I’m trying to watch the game!”
The Go Daddy ad features Danica Patrick talking about the flamboyant cream puff Lola, a former NFL player, and his success in the designing biz. The real tragedy here is that viewers won’t get to see Danica between the downs. There’s nothing offensive about the ad, it’s just silly.
That’s why you wonder what the hell CBS is thinking, because now it looks like discrimination.
Blogger Bio: For more than a decade Laurie Schenden has covered the entertainment industry for Curve, the Los Angeles Times and Germany's Spotlight magazine. Her cover stories for Curve magazine have included Sharon Stone, Melissa Etheridge, and the cast of The L Word. She’s also an award winning documentary filmmaker and one of the co-creators of the Laughing Matters film series, seen on Logo.