The new Kentucky Fried Chicken commercial, touting a new shrimp tempura product, is annoying, insulting and sexist. I’m not one to rant over television commercials, the intelligence level needed to grasp the point of most spots not being much higher than a worm. I mean, what do you expect, it’s just T.V., right ? And the last person to make an issue of political correctness would be me, being guilty of many intemperate and unjustified jabs on marginalized groups and persons over the years.
But this KFC commercial is just plain stupid. It shows executive-type yuppies, all male, young and good-looking, gathered around a conference table. The alpha-guy, from appearances, is at the head of the table and says ominously that someone in the group in keeping a presumably dark secret. He then brings out some KFC shrimp tempura, and this one dork suddenly and involuntary squawks like a chicken, like a stereotypical fag actually, thus revealing what is hinted at as his homosexual predilections. He is effectively “outed” by the group and the last scene shows him stuffing his face with shrimp and the guys smirking and condescendingly saying that they “accept” him as he is after all.
How dumb is that, even from just the marketing point of view ? This ad effectively risks alienating at least fifty percent of potential customers, women and gays. Notice that there are no girls around, this being a strictly “guy” thing. But the most voracious tempura eaters I know are female.
It also says that those seemingly uncomfortable about openly proclaiming their unconventional personal leanings should be ridiculed as girlie men. That they should take it without complaint and just eat shrimp tempura. Serves them right for trying to hide it in the first place.
This is thinly disguised homophobia — an irrational fear of or discrimination against homosexuals or the fear that people might misperceive you as gay.
I know the sketch is meant to be humorous. But it’s not. It’s just lame. And this from a company I admire for its fertile creativity in rolling out endless product variations from plain ol’ chicken. What would the Colonel say ?
An interesting side topic: Sex and KFC make Christmas in Japan.