The Electric Commentary

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Call the FCC! It's back!

I suppose that I should talk about TO and the naked woman. I didn’t see it live, but I’ve seen it now. I have a new rule for decency standards, which is as follows:

If it gets through my firewall, it’s ok.

Simple enough. My firewall blocks sites about beer, wine, poker chips, and almost anything having to do with sex, but it did not block this.I could watch it at work, so it must be fine.

What is not fine, however, is the ridiculous reaction to the whole thing. When I got in to work this morning a friend mentioned to me that Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy thought that it was racist. When I was told this I assumed that he meant the reaction to the spot was racist, and that he perceived the uproar as being about the interracial aspect of the spot. I had not heard anyone mention anything about race as all complaints seemed to focus on Nicollette Sheridan’s naked back, which would make Dungy’s complaint stupid, but I was also not surprised that someone was trying to make it about race. Then, I went online and read this article on ESPN. He thinks that the spot itself is racist!

To me that's the first thing I thought of as an African-American … I think it's stereotypical in looking at the players, and on the heels of the Kobe Bryant incident I think it's very insensitive. I don't think that they would have had Bill Parcells or Andy Reid or one of the owners involved in that," he added, a reference to the coaches in the game.

First off all, Ewwww.

Now that would be offensive.

Second, what does this mean? They wouldn’t have had a fat old white guy do it? True. But what exactly is wrong with TO in this spot? He is jumped by the woman, not the other way around. He even turns her down at first. (Jeff Garcia: Oh, turning down Nicollette are we? If it looks like a rat...) He only acquiesces when she throws her naked self at him. Exactly what Kobeesqe stereotype is he portraying? I think so much less of Tony Dungy now than I did before. I think that his comments are bordering on racist. What exactly does he think of African-American men?

FCC Chairman Michael Powell had this to say:

"I wonder if Walt Disney would be proud,"

Apparently Powell’s idea of a perfect viewing night is a few Mickey Mouse cartoons followed by some wholesome Spin and Marty, and don’t you dare ogle Annette!

NFL scientists immediately began working on “flubber.”

This was not that risqué. The average Victoria’s Secret advertisement is much more revealing than this spot. But I think it’s a good thing that all of these people are overreacting because it will create a backlash. I’m willing to bet that the next episode of Desperate Housewives (on in the same time slot as MNF, by the way) is a ratings smash, as the back police have kept this story going for three solid days.

Those people who called the FCC to complain disappoint me. First call the NFL! They will be more responsive and won’t take it out on Saving Private Ryan.

After all, when you tune in to Monday night football, you want to see violent collisions, grotesque, Napoleon McCallum style injuries, and scantily clad cheerleaders, not some woman’s naked back.

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