Monday, July 28, 2008
Mr T is Big in London
"Speed walking. I pity you fool. You a disgrace to the man race. It's time to run like a real man."-Mr T
Ok, maybe Mr T isn't really all that big in London, but he has managed to hit a few London newspapers. Mr T is a has been actor who came to fame by beating up Rocky and then by being B.A. Barackus in The A-Team. He's been living off his tough guy image ever since.
Like many America has-beens, Mr T has found he can still make a living in other world markets-like the U.K. where there are a couple of ads featuring Real Man Mr T belittling all things British.
The TV Show Family Guy also makes fun of Brits on a semi-regular basis. In one episode a rugby team is named the London Silly Nannies and they run away from an American football team in a carriage shaped like a pumpkin rather than play them.
The Snickers Get Some Nuts campaign has not been aired in the U.S.-though they are all available on YouTube for the curious. I suppose it could be spun to make fun of American jocks, well, no it couldn't. American jocks are the bedrock of U.S. commerce, we could never do anything to make them look like a bunch of numb skulls.
Right. It seems that one of the Mr T ads showing all men in the U.K. as being inferior to Mr T has offended someone. Specifically it is offensive to gay people. These ads are clearly silly. Mr T crashed through walls, crushes cars as he drives over them, fires Snickers bars out of a chain gun and shakes his fist like an old man in his front garden. He challenges the manhood of anyone not eating Snickers bars and the tag line Get Some Nuts-well, who could find that offensive?
You can tell that Snickers has taken the complains seriously by the fact that the Speed Walker commercial is the first thing you see on their Get Some Nuts website.
Gay groups has been know to complain about odd things. They didn't like the Buffalo Bill character in Silence of The Lambs, though it was never made clear that he was gay, just a phycho. Likewise gay groups are offended by the Mad Scientist in The X-Files I Want To Believe for his odd choice in victims. The argument here is that Mr T pelting the speed walker implies it is ok to beat up gay people. Mars of course says it's just in fun, so lighten up.
Or maybe Mars thinks they just aren't manly enough to take a joke.