Animal rights organization PETA has never shied away from controversy. The latest is their new ad, “Veggie Love,” which was deemed to be too hot for television and was nixed from the coveted Super Bowl ad lineup.
The ad features models in lingerie displaying their affection for various items plucked from the produce aisle. Although it is doubtful that this ad will convince anyone to give up prime rib, it might make certain viewers jealous of the pumpkin:
Even if you find the ad distasteful, is there anything in the ad that is so harmful to viewers that warrants its removal from television? Scenes just as racy and over the top appear regularly in episodes of Gossip Girl, for example. (Anyone remember the scene where Marcus was in the throes of passion with his stepmother?)
Furthermore, unlike many of PETA’s previous ads that displayed women in cages or portrayed them as pieces of meat — ads that are degrading because they place the women being featured in a position of powerlessness and/or liken them to animals — the tone in the advertisement is lighthearted and playful. After all, the concept of sexualizing asparagus and pumpkins is absurd on its face. If Truth can display hundreds of body bags in its anti-smoking public service announcements, why can’t a woman have a little harmless fun with produce?
Here are some snippets from the e-mail from NBC to PETA detailing the reasons why the ad failed to meet NBC’s standards:
:12- :13- licking pumpkin
Was this a problem because pumpkins cannot consent to going to first base?
:13- :14- touching her breast with her hand while eating broccoli
:22- screwing herself with broccoli (fuzzy)
Can you imagine being the executive who had to write the line “screwing herself with broccoli”? I can imagine her sitting in her swiveling chair thinking, “Four years of college and two years in an MBA program led to this?!” On a side note, the woman wasn’t “screwing herself with broccoli.” She was rubbing the broccoli on her stomach.
:23- asparagus on her lap appearing as if it is ready to be inserted into vagina
Wow, if she thought that woman was intending to stick that entire bunch of asparagus into her hoo hoo, she is more than just a little ambitious about the limits of the female anatomy.
:26- rubbing asparagus on breast
Is this like rubbing two pieces of flint together? If someone tries this at home, will a fire break out?
Yesterday, Whoopi Goldberg performed a re-enactment of the banned advertisement on The View, a performance that highlights the silliness of the advertisement.
Whoopi never fails to make me laugh, and just between you and me, I think I like Whoopi’s version better. What do you think of NBC’s reaction to the ad?