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Debates Forum

  1. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    19 Mar '10 03:13 / 3 edits
    So, I was poking around on Youtube a bit and I found this ad for an Israeli TV station from a couple of years back.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S8rN0o2mVHE&NR=1

    (I'm posting the one with the English subtitles; but the original actually had Hebrew subtitles. English is routine enough in Israel so that they can run English language commercials.)

    For the uninitiated, this ad targets the ultra-religious community in Israel. Think of the Taliban minus blowing stuff up and fighting wars (who mostly just want to keep to themselves); but Jewish.

    Now, aside from some annoying mistakes in the subtitles (the word "mekhu" in Hebrew means "protest" not "destroy" ), personally, I found this ad to be laugh-out-loud funny.

    That having been said, I can see how this ad could really be considered extraordinarily offensive to some people. Could anyone imagine a similar ad targeting the black community in the United States? There would be riots in the streets.

    Yes, I know. This commercial was not run in the United States. But, what if an Israeli station had run an ad lampooning their Ethiopian community like that? I'm just guessing here, but I'd say it would be worth at least 4 or 5 UN condemnations; more so, even, than building a new apartment building.

    So, my question is: Are there unwritten rules about which minority communities can and cannot be targeted for humor in advertising (I use the word "humor" rather than "ridicule" to stay as neutral as possible; though either one would apply)?

    If so, where can I get a copy of these rules? Okay. I'm being facetious. But seriously, is there a double standard that exists in terms of whom one can lampoon?
  2. Standard member joneschr
    Some guy
    19 Mar '10 03:22
    I don't think any minority group is beyond its limits, its really a question of what exactly you're picking fun at. The commercial you linked was poking light hearted fun -- it wasn't exactly making low blows. I don't think it was the minority group that was targetted that made it less offensive.

    Try running the same commercial but trying to fit references to the holocaust into it, and see how well accepted it is.
  3. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    19 Mar '10 03:26
    Originally posted by joneschr
    I don't think any minority group is beyond its limits, its really a question of what exactly you're picking fun at. The commercial you linked was poking light hearted fun -- it wasn't exactly making low blows. I don't think it was the minority group that was targetted that made it less offensive.

    Try running the same commercial but trying to fit references to the holocaust into it, and see how well accepted it is.
    Okay; fair point.

    I'm not sure that kind of ad directed against certain other minority groups would be viewed in that manner though. Just a hunch.
  4. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    19 Mar '10 03:29
    Originally posted by sh76
    Okay; fair point.

    I'm not sure that kind of ad directed against certain other minority groups would be viewed in that manner though. Just a hunch.
    I wouldn't be surprised to see ads that lampoon black stereotypes on BET. There's a cartoon on Cartoon Network I think called "Squidbillies" that is all about making fun of hillbillies. I think when an ethnic group lampoons it's own stereotypes to an audience composed of the same ethnic group there's more leeway.
  5. Standard member expuddlepirate
    Exaulted high possum
    19 Mar '10 04:24 / 2 edits
    Ok, this may well kill the thread but here is my "2 cents"......

    I think most cultures around the world have an 'outside' or 'inside' minority group that has been tasked with being the nation's "whipping boy". They fabricate some stereotype images to drag out when they need to beat up on somebody to make themselves feel better. While some of those images may have a small seed of truth or not no longer matters as long as it can be an 'us and them' wedge. Other groups, that have some degree of economic or political pull can fight this but there is always some group that can't defend themselves and become the default prey.
  6. Standard member Palynka
    Upward Spiral
    19 Mar '10 10:29
    Originally posted by sh76
    So, I was poking around on Youtube a bit and I found this ad for an Israeli TV station from a couple of years back.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S8rN0o2mVHE&NR=1

    (I'm posting the one with the English subtitles; but the original actually had Hebrew subtitles. English is routine enough in Israel so that they can run English language commercials.)

    For t ...[text shortened]... eriously, is there a double standard that exists in terms of whom one can lampoon?
    What would the orthodox find offensive about it?
  7. 19 Mar '10 13:24
    Originally posted by sh76
    So, I was poking around on Youtube a bit and I found this ad for an Israeli TV station from a couple of years back.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S8rN0o2mVHE&NR=1

    (I'm posting the one with the English subtitles; but the original actually had Hebrew subtitles. English is routine enough in Israel so that they can run English language commercials.)

    For t ...[text shortened]... eriously, is there a double standard that exists in terms of whom one can lampoon?
    It's generally been accepted that a member of a minority group can make fun of fellow minorities without it being deemed offensive.

    But I would argue that one way you know when a society has truly accepted a minority group is when anyone can "make fun" of certain members of that group without it being deemed "offensive" by more than a very small number of people.

    As an example, shows like the "Sopranos" or "Jersey Shore" make much use of certain negative Italian stereotypes, and while a certain number of people have found these shows to be offensive, there hasn't been a major uproar about them. This is because Italians in general don't feel that they're a major target for discrimination - and there's a general sense that when you poke fun at mafia-types, everyone is aware that you're not implying that all Italians are in the mafia.

    But it's still hard to make fun of certain groups of blacks or latinos without people assuming you intend to demean all black people or all latino people - which means that we haven't reached that post-racial nirvana quite yet.
  8. 20 Mar '10 01:57
    On this site,, anything that pokes fun at gays/lesbians
  9. Standard member expuddlepirate
    Exaulted high possum
    20 Mar '10 06:15 / 1 edit
    Aside from "touched by an angel" and "Star trek TNG / DS9", name a show on american TV that any irish person that was on the show didn't or wasn't:

    A) A priest or nun

    B) a Drunk

    C) spoke to the 'wee folk'

    D) an IRA member hiding out from the law

    E) any combonation of any of the above
  10. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    20 Mar '10 06:28
    Originally posted by expuddlepirate
    name a show on american TV that any irish person that was on the show didn't or wasn't:
    A) A priest or nun
    B) a Drunk
    C) spoke to the 'wee folk'
    D) an IRA member hiding out from the law
    E) any combonation of any of the above
    Actually I think you've got all the kinds of we Irish people covered with this list.
  11. 20 Mar '10 16:38 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by expuddlepirate
    Aside from "touched by an angel" and "Star trek TNG / DS9", name a show on american TV that any irish person that was on the show didn't or wasn't:

    A) A priest or nun

    B) a Drunk

    C) spoke to the 'wee folk'

    D) an IRA member hiding out from the law

    E) any combonation of any of the above
    The Boondock Saints
    Is Sean Connery irish? I loved his part in the Untouchables
  12. Standard member joneschr
    Some guy
    20 Mar '10 17:27
    Originally posted by Hugh Glass
    The Boondock Saints
    Is Sean Connery irish? I loved his part in the Untouchables
    Scottish I think.
  13. Standard member expuddlepirate
    Exaulted high possum
    24 Mar '10 05:58
    Originally posted by Hugh Glass
    The Boondock Saints
    Is Sean Connery irish? I loved his part in the Untouchables
    He is scottish and active in Scottish independence. I also read where he frequents 'irish' pubs when in Hollywood.