With the desperately sad case of Tyler Clementi taking his life on September 22nd, and it being National Bullying Prevention Week, there's a lot in the media about bullying. There's also a lot about protecting LGBT teens and young people in general from the harsh words and actions of others, and from their sometimes over-critical selves:
- Ellen DeGeneres made this eloquent and empassioned plea last week to end teenage bullying;
- Dan Savage started up the fantastic It Get's Better project, on hearing about 15 year old Billy Lucas's suicide because he wished he just chatted with Billy, even for 5 minutes to tell him no matter how bad things are, no matter how alone you feel, it gets better.
- CNN are running a special series of reports and a wealth of online stores and resources as part of their Stop Bullying:Speak Up week including a one-hour town hall special AC360° with Anderson Cooper called Bullying: No Escape this Friday.
- With it being the start of Fall Break (translation for Brits: Autumn half-term), Cartoon Network are also running a Stop Bullying:Speak Up campaign.
- Demi Lovato made this appeal for National Bullying Prevention Week....160,000 kids and teens miss school every day because of bullying? That is so sad.
Yet in the midst of all this good work and raising of an issue that needs to be talked about and dealt with out in the open, the fast food chain Jack In The Box think it's acceptable to run this advert:
(Just in case you can't see the video of the advert, it represents two employees of Jack In A Box laughing hysterically in a corner whilst they dunk an intern suspended head first into a giant vat of strawberry milkshake whilst Jack asks another employee what's going on only to be told that they're just hazing the intern and the situation is ignored as they walk off).
I was appalled when I first saw this on television about a month ago. I thought it would get pulled instantly, but no, it's still showing, and I don't care if you think that I'm being over-sensitive about it - yes, I do see it's an advert and that they're being over-the-top BUT they are also laughing at someone being humilated whilst others are choosing to ignore what's going on.
It's showing kids and teenagers a message that it's funny to be cruel and to humiliate someone. That's just wrong.
And yes, before you ask I am going to be writing to Jack In A Box and telling them that I feel they should be more responsible and if anyone else has got any other ideas what we can do to get this advert off the air, please let me know by hitting the comments link below this post. Thanks.