Mr T Snickers ad pulled for being off...

Mr T Snickers ad pulled for being offensive to gay people

There are 13 comments on the Guardian Unlimited story from Jul 28, 2008, titled Mr T Snickers ad pulled for being offensive to gay people. In it, Guardian Unlimited reports that:

Mars has pulled a UK TV ad for Snickers featuring Mr T harassing a speed walker for being a "disgrace to the man race" after US complaints that it was offensive to gay people.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Guardian Unlimited.

Running Man

Berlin, CT

#1 Jul 28, 2008
As a lifelong runner, when I saw this commercial, I simply thought, "oh, this guy is a just one of those jogger types, and not a serious runner". Somehow someone in the gay community was "looking" hard for something to complain about, and put a big SPIN on this advertisement, making it seem like it was poking fun at gays. Football is about the most "macho type" sport on earth; why don't they make some claim that "football makes fun of gays." This commercial was nothing short of just funny.
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I sent a note on the internet to tell Mars that I'm going to boycott their products, because like so many companies these days, they are lying down and playing door-mat to any group that whimpers about somehow being offended.
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Here is the link where you can tell Mars what you think about playing "door-mat" to these groups.
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http://www.snickers.com/contact.asp
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Short Left Index Finger

Hamilton, Canada

#2 Oct 28, 2009
His hairdo is a disgrass to ugly-looking manequins everwhere.

Since: Oct 09

Ottawa, Canada

#3 Oct 28, 2009
If I am not offending someone, then I am doing something wrong

Hemingway

It is impossible to live your life not offending someone, and I hate PC BS.

People are more than free to bitch and whine and protest. I remember an awesome ad from europe where a man is on his wedding night with his amazing model like pristine bride, and suddenly sees her standing to pee. It has won alot of awards and is brilliant. However, it would raise alot of hackles from both the Trans community and the Rightwing at the same time and never been used as advertising on american television. I am Transgendered and found the ad hilarious. There was nothing in it to offend. Nor does this Mr T ad sound particularly offensive; if Mr T (the media personality, not is real life personality) saw a man speed walking then definately that is exactly how he would react and it would be hilarious.

If some homosexual found it offensive, he needs to get a better grasp of his own self worth and image. The ad does more to make fun of our often dated views of masculinity than to make fun of homosexuals.
Usagi

Brisbane, Australia

#4 Oct 31, 2009
I've seen the ad and it's funny, the speed walker looks like an extreme nerd, not gay. The ad was not meant to be offensive. Some people need to learn to see the funny side of things. It's a Mr T ad so you can't take it too seriously and besides Mr T is cool!
Uhm

Bartlett, IL

#5 Oct 31, 2009
PatriciaCross wrote:
If I am not offending someone, then I am doing something wrong
Hemingway
How apropos that you quote Ernest Hemingway, a man who ridiculed his transsexual son for not being sufficiently masculine. It's also worth noting that an inordinate number of commentators have referred to the late Mr. Ernest Hemingway as "mean spirited".
The son, Gregory/Gig Hemingway, was so despised by his wealthy family that when he was arrested and incarcerated one night for being drunk, not one of them was willing to post $2,000 bail to get him out. That one night in jail, he died.
To suggest that the runner in the ad is targeted as a "nerd" rather than as a biological male who in insufficiently masculine is absurd. Please note that "Mr. T" refers to the runner not as a disgrace to the HUMAN race, but to the "MAN race."
And for lord's sake, how can you POSSIBLY ignore the closing statement : "Get some nuts".
The runner is ridiculed because he is DIFFERENT from the majority of biological males, and the message is that as such he is INFERIOR (he is a disgrace and needs to "get some nuts").
Some of you claim this is mere satire, yet you fail to understand that these messages affirm and embolden these destructive attitudes which are held by so many fearful and vicious people.
Does the Mars company enjoy freedom of speech? Yes, but if you visit Mars' web site you will see that it cites one of the company's core values as behaving responsibly - avoiding actions which would be potentially harmful to others. I admire the sentiment. I believe that Mars showed an error in judgment when they aired a certain ad during the super bowl, but to their credit they acted responsibly and pulled it. They have done the same thing here.
The Snickers bar, while not particularly healthful, is as well made a product as any other candy bar, and is quite tasty. I enjoy one occasionally and hold no ill will toward the Mars company.
I DO think they might want to re examine the choices made by the current marketing manager of this product, though.
Curteese

Long Beach, CA

#6 Oct 31, 2009
Snickers bars blow anyway. They are so sickeningly sweet that they make my teeth hurt. As if Americans are not fat enough already, they do not need to be shoving bars of sugar down their throats all day.
I have seen the ad. That ad literally gave me the chills. It encourages cruelty and mean behavior towards others.
Since I grew up, uh, oh the less than macho side of the street, I knew well how the power walker must have felt. Alone, scared, left out of the world, different than the supposed norm.
The guy was hurting no one, he was trying to keep healthy, instead of pounding down candy all day, yet he offended the likes of Mr. T and deserved to be harrassed and scared away. Not good. Maybe I am being overly analytical on this, but it is how I felt on viewing it.
Candy is supposed to make one feel good, not alone and scared.
If the homophobes wonder what it is like to be the despised, then watch that ad, it catches completely the tone and feel of the hated persepective.

Since: Oct 09

London, Canada

#8 Oct 31, 2009
Uhm wrote:
<quoted text>
How apropos that you quote Ernest Hemingway, a man who ridiculed his transsexual son for not being sufficiently masculine. It's also worth noting that an inordinate number of commentators have referred to the late Mr. Ernest Hemingway as "mean spirited".
The son, Gregory/Gig Hemingway, was so despised by his wealthy family that when he was arrested and incarcerated one night for being drunk, not one of them was willing to post $2,000 bail to get him out. That one night in jail, he died.
To suggest that the runner in the ad is targeted as a "nerd" rather than as a biological male who in insufficiently masculine is absurd. Please note that "Mr. T" refers to the runner not as a disgrace to the HUMAN race, but to the "MAN race."
And for lord's sake, how can you POSSIBLY ignore the closing statement : "Get some nuts".
The runner is ridiculed because he is DIFFERENT from the majority of biological males, and the message is that as such he is INFERIOR (he is a disgrace and needs to "get some nuts").
Some of you claim this is mere satire, yet you fail to understand that these messages affirm and embolden these destructive attitudes which are held by so many fearful and vicious people.
Does the Mars company enjoy freedom of speech? Yes, but if you visit Mars' web site you will see that it cites one of the company's core values as behaving responsibly - avoiding actions which would be potentially harmful to others. I admire the sentiment. I believe that Mars showed an error in judgment when they aired a certain ad during the super bowl, but to their credit they acted responsibly and pulled it. They have done the same thing here.
The Snickers bar, while not particularly healthful, is as well made a product as any other candy bar, and is quite tasty. I enjoy one occasionally and hold no ill will toward the Mars company.
I DO think they might want to re examine the choices made by the current marketing manager of this product, though.
Regardless of Mr Hemmingway's actions and treatment of his son/daughter, it does not make the quote any less valid. It is a very solid statement. The fact that he was a jerk and a bigot is not the issue, it is the wisdom and truth of the words in that one line. Some of the greatest minds in history have also been complete assholes or commited acts which would be concidered barbaric and inhumane by today's standards, Hemmingway's treatment of his offspring was not a too uncommon sentiment for the time and even a good number of people today whom would otherwise be concidered respectible would treat their offspring the same.

Should they stop showing Southpark? It takes a very satirical view at alot of stereotypes. Basically with this kind of humor; if you believe the rediculous stereotype being shown then it is you it is making fun of you and not the stereotyped individual.

Sometimes something can be presented positively by presenting the worse possible image of it in an over the top way to the point it is obviously rediculous.

Since: Oct 09

London, Canada

#9 Oct 31, 2009
Specifically; Everyone knows Mr T is rediculous and a joke. If you believe the statements he is making in that commercial, then you are a rediculous joke as well.
Short Left Index Finger

Toronto, Canada

#10 Oct 31, 2009
I pitty Mr.Ts hair and wardrobe people.
Uhm

Bartlett, IL

#11 Oct 31, 2009
PatriciaCross wrote:
Specifically; Everyone knows Mr T is rediculous and a joke. If you believe the statements he is making in that commercial, then you are a rediculous joke as well.
Thank you for your kind words.

May I suggest you read beyond the first two paragraphs of my post?

Since: Oct 09

London, Canada

#12 Oct 31, 2009
I did read your full post

To a degree I agree and see where you are coming. I used to feel the same way and even boycotted shows such as South Park for that exact reason.

Then I realized how overly rediculous they were and that there was a rather brilliant underlying message.
Usagi

Australia

#13 Nov 1, 2009
Mr T's media image is a overblown macho comic book character not to be taken seriously. His image makes fun of being overly macho (he smashes through a house on the back of a small truck, that's insane) and I'm sure he knows it. Ironically in real life he brags about being a moma's boy and is a kind hearted Christian.

The media always makes fun of men who are not masculine enough (geeks, nerds, gays...), these types of people never get portrade like normal people. They get portrade as if they are strange weirdos, this annoys me sometimes because I'm not the most masculine guy in the world. But at the same time I can watch a different TV show and it will be making fun of jocks like they are brainless idiots for liking sport or I can watch another show that will be stereotyping all men as being sleazy. That one really annoys me because I am a man and I am not sleazy.

I don't think the ad should have been banned. It makes fun of macho and non-macho men at the same time. It was not offensive to me but I'm not as sensitive to these things as I used to be.

Since: Oct 09

Kingston, Canada

#14 Nov 1, 2009
Usagi wrote:
Mr T's media image is a overblown macho comic book character not to be taken seriously. His image makes fun of being overly macho (he smashes through a house on the back of a small truck, that's insane) and I'm sure he knows it. Ironically in real life he brags about being a moma's boy and is a kind hearted Christian.
The media always makes fun of men who are not masculine enough (geeks, nerds, gays...), these types of people never get portrade like normal people. They get portrade as if they are strange weirdos, this annoys me sometimes because I'm not the most masculine guy in the world. But at the same time I can watch a different TV show and it will be making fun of jocks like they are brainless idiots for liking sport or I can watch another show that will be stereotyping all men as being sleazy. That one really annoys me because I am a man and I am not sleazy.
I don't think the ad should have been banned. It makes fun of macho and non-macho men at the same time. It was not offensive to me but I'm not as sensitive to these things as I used to be.
Yes

This isn't the 80s, and anything with Mr T is making fun of him first and anything else a distant second. If you think the Speed walker is the target, then it is you who are the targeted for believing such.

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