Tuesday, April 14, 2009

SpongeBob SquarePants & Baby Got Back = FAIL!

Well it seems it's taking a multi-racial coalition in the form of the Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood to bring this the attention it deserves. In case you've missed it there's a disgusting commercial that combines the one hit wonder Sir Mix A Lot's song with Burger King and has gyrating square butts (attached to women's bodies of course). The square shaped buttocks are supposed to be wry and ironic I suppose and it demonstrates the tie-in with SpongeBob because he's square-shaped. It's like a rap music video (lite). 
This advert is selling a kid's meal. Yeah...I'll repeat that. This is for a kid's meal. Now many mentioned it on Twitter last week  after it started airing across the country. I admit I was confused at first. There was too much going on in those :30 for me to process. I remembered the song (ugh) and I saw SpongeBob and women dancing with what looked like blocks in their pants. It took me three times to connect the dots. I admittedly thought it was just stupid....but it is highly offensive as well. I recall wishing I had only seen it once and never again. 
From the CCFC website: Nickelodeon and Burger King have partnered to produce a new, highly sexualized, ad for a Burger King SpongeBob SquarePants Kids Meal. It’s harmful enough when a beloved media icon advertises junk food to children, but selling Kids Meals by associating a beloved, male character like SpongeBob with lechery shows how little either company cares about the wellbeing of the children they target. Please sign the petition!
Whatever ad agency (I found it - Crispin, Porter & Bogusky) came up with this proposal should be fired. If you click  over to the Advertfan web site it has the entire team listed. Guess who came up with the concept? Why MEN of course. Whoever at Nickelodeon signed off on this needs to have all decision-making processes under review. I think it's sad for me to assume but I wonder if certain white people weren't outraged by this would Nick (who owns the rights to SpongeBob) and Burger King be under fire?

When you mix hip-hop with anything it seems a certain amount of Black people lose all objectivity and immediately want to embrace the degrading because it amuses them. Or someone would complain that Sir Mix A Lot is being targeted due to his race while some even complain that he sold out for a kids' commercial. The song was offensive from the beginning, but even I had to evolve to realize his pandering attitudes about it "celebrating a woman's body" was BS from the get go. It's objectification pure and simple. It doesn't belong anywhere near the eyes and ears of children. 

I just feel so desensitized to all the depravity and I don't watch these "music" videos anymore. But having glimpsed enough of them over the years and seeing the steady decline was enough to cause damage. Even as adults we must guard our minds, so it's that much more important to protect a child who isn't able to process these things well. I'm not linking to the ad for that reason.

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