Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Issue with KFC Commercial (2007)


KFC Commercial (Family sans Father)


plez sez: it was about a month ago that i saw this commercial while watching television with my wife and daughter. we have a DVR, so i went back and watched it a few times... each time i saw the commercial, i got angrier and angrier: where was the father? why was there no mention of the father? why wasn't there at least another chair at the table for their father? since the theme of the commercial was "best part of the day," why wasn't there a mention of having the family together for dinner, even though the father couldn't be there, was the best part of their day?

at first, i thought that it was a case of trying to find hidden racism under every rock... but everytime i see this damn commercial, something just boils in my stomach.

i know that at least 70% of the households in our Black communities are headed by a Black woman. it is a sad reality. but is that a reality that needs to be justified, no, glorified by KFC? they are selling fried chicken, for Christ sakes, i don't want them making something that should be abnormal seem like it is normal. a family, regardless of race, should have a loving mother and a nurturing father. there will be cases when this is not possible - gay couples, ne'er-do-well spouse abandons the family, children raised by other family members, etc - but this should be the exception, not the rule!

call me old fashioned. call me disillusioned. call me a Republican (HA HA HA)! i don't want my 6-year old daughter growing up thinking that it is okay for her to raise 2 or 3 kids without a husband. and i don't want some damn KFC commercials telling her that either!

the issue surrounding this commercial has cropped up on some other blogs that i frequent. what follows is my reaction on those blogs.

plez on African American Dad:
My wife and I saw the same commercial a few weeks ago; we actually paused the program we were watching and replayed the commercial two or three times! I’ve only seen it that one time, but we were taken aback by the “hidden racism” that is so prevalent in so many aspects of the media! Like you, I tried to find it on YouTube, because I had planned to post it on my blog.

I have started a personal BOYCOTT of KFC as a result… that commercial had me steaming! I will have to be one HUNGRY Negro to EVER cross the threshold or buck up in the drive-thru of another KFC, for as long as I live (or until this offensive commercial is retired.

How in the HELL is KFC going to air/broadcast such an offensive and racially biased commercial of a Black family without a father! I still cannot get over the fact that in 2007, I am seeing negative images of Black families shown on prime time television! How many WHITE and BLACK families have seen that commercial and thought in the back of their minds how NORMAL that must be in our community… I am sick!!!

plez on Booker Rising:
shay, thanks for sharing the commercial, i looked for it on YouTube a few weeks ago and couldn't find it.

i don't like the commercial. the first time i saw the commercial, i wondered out loud to my wife about the absence of the father in the scene. i don't want KFC making social commentary via their commercials about the "situation" of Black single parent households while slingin' fried chicken to the masses!

and if i read the comments above correctly, many of you within the Black community are fine with the preponderance of fatherless households in the US and don't mind KFC legitimizing it in their commercials. i don't like it and i feel that this commercial by KFC is a deliberate and offensive attempt to portray our Black families in a negative light!

i don't want my daughter to view even ONE ad that says her family of 3 kids can be HAPPY without a responsible father in the picture. as such, i've decided that i will no longer patronize KFC's restaurants.

for me, it's not right... and it's not okay!
emphasis was added for this article

hat tip: African American Dad & Booker Rising

21 comments:

LLR said...

Maybe just Maybe she is married. If you watch the commercial it looks like she has a ring on her finger but in some frames it looks like she doesn’t have one on. Maybe she is married and dad works from 3pm-11pm.

plez... said...

LLR, i always welcome your commentary... if nothing else, you keep me honest!

maybe she is married... in one shot it does look as though she may have on a wedding ring (but it is so brief, i can't tell definitively), but there are other shots where it is obvious that she is not wearing a wedding ring.

but if her husband does work the 2nd shift (3pm-11pm), why isn't there a chair for him at the table?

i'm not going to go out on a speculation limb and try to figure out what the marketing company that produced this commercial spot for KFC was thinking. the fact remains that i find it offensive and i don't like the commercial.

tom said...

I've been reading on numerous blogs about this commercial but didn't see it until today.

It certainly does make you wonder what KFC had in mind when they wrote, produced, directed and distributed this commercial, because you know that marketing is rarely accidental.

This happy family doesn't need a dad. Those kids just came out of nowhere, I suppose. But it's okay, it's all right, nobody's missing that father. It's assumed he wouldn't be there anyway, isn't it? Isn't that the implication?

At least on the various black sitcoms the dad is just as fat, ugly and stupid as the white dads on the white sitcoms (with the exception of Everybody Hates Chris). Hell, even that fat, ugly, stupid dad would be welcome in this commercial.

It seems pretty obvious to me that if this was a white family, an asian family, an hispanic family, even a jihadist islamic arab family, the dad would be there too. that's why the stereotype - the racist intent - is so pernicious. the absence speaks louder than words.

plez... said...

tom,

you are so correct about the marketing machines that are employed by these large companies. i used to work in sales & marketing for a very large corporation; the way every single product is marketed to specific demographics is a very detailed, deliberate, and insightful process.

there is NO WAY that this was not an attempt by KFC to market their $4.99 bucket of fried chicken to single parent households without the presence/income of a father within the Black community: you are a single mom and you can feed your family of four for less than $10 - after you throw in some cole slaw, four biscuits, and make a half gallon of red Kool-Aid.

it's the deliberate nature of the act that has me so upset!

David Sullivan said...

Men are portrayed as idiots or absent. I vote for neither in any community. Its blatantly obvious that the marketing dept. at KFC said "Why would we put a dad in this commercial, that would be unrealistic".

Men have to start being men again and stop being portreyed as useless, clueless pussies!

Maybe by starting with a boycott of KFC and letting it be known that regardless of race, men are there, doing their share. Especially strong black men who get a bad rap because of some who lack responsibility.

KFC need to stop perpetuating this idea regardless of the demographics.

KFC sucks anyway. It hasn't been good since I was a kid.

Anitra said...

Hi Plez! Interesting, I had that very thought whenever that KFC commercial hits the airwaves, but never thought to read up on how much attentions its been receiving for not including the father figure.

I'm a new reader of your blog, having found you on NaBloPoMo. I've been watching a lot of Oprah lately and yesterday her guest was Bill Cosby who co-wrote "Come On People". The book focuses on your very frustration. The co-author of the book was also on the show and he referenced a statistic that I found shocking. 70% of African American homes are fatherless. I love that you and your family are an excpetion to this "rule", and will try to visit your site regularly.

I can be found at www.iloveakiwi.com

plez... said...

david,
i'm with you there, my brother, men have to re-assert our authority as men... we are the heads of our households and we will not support anyone that suggests otherwise!

anitra,
thanks for dropping by, i really appreciate the support... i will definitely go by your site and check you out... and who knows, you'll probably be on my BlogRoll before the day's out! *smile*

Anitra said...

Plez - you'd be the first to list me in your blogroll! How cool. Now I must debate you on your agreeing with David, or maybe I'm reading too much into this. Men should be the head of the house, but so should women. It's a joint and equal effort!

plez... said...

anitra,

i'm glad that i'm your first BlogRoll... and perhaps you are reading too much into david and my assertion about the role of the father as the head of the household.

and not to type words on behalf of david, i just think that he asserts that in the media, men have almost become nothing more than lifeless props (or as he puts it so eloquently "useless, clueless pussies"). there needs to be a re-emphasis on the role of the father in the traditional household in America.

Francis L. Holland Blog said...

What did we do when Intel put out that terribly offensive commercial? I think somebody wrote them a letter, and we all blogged about it.

I know I haven't eaten at KFC ever since I ate there and I found a rat's head in my food. It was still wiggling. Why don't they cook their food better? Somebody could get terribly sick! I would have sued, but then I discovered that the local meetings of the Skin Heads were held in the KFC restaurant after closing hours, all sitting around and eating fried chicken for free while pissing in the food that other people have to eat. :) I hope I haven't spoiled your appetite.

David Sullivan said...

Anitra: I never said that men need to be the head of the household, but strong and present.

I do agree with Plez that in many cases men are there and watching over, protecting their families, but american society portrays men as fat,stupid and black men in particular as absent and "shiftless".

My wife is as strong as fuck and we share all household responsibilities, but I am the protector. She won't ever kill a spider. LOL :)

David Sullivan said...

Francis: Dude, I knew there was a change in the secret recipie!!

Have you ever noticed that KKK asswipes and Neo-Nazi skinheads are all the ugliest, dumbest people. Master race of ugly retards!

CapCity said...

Maybe the father died from too much KFC...Hey plez...i just came by to say hello before i go underground. Don't let KFC give U a heart attack without even taking a bite.

Francis L. Holland Blog said...

Kentucky Fried Chicken has had Problems with Rats, and Denigration of Blacks

Anitra said...

Strong and present indeed! I totally agree, and grew up with a father, many uncles, grandfathers, and older cousins who were all very fine examples. Being Latin, they are all stubborn and loud, er, expressive too. :) But so are the women so it makes for a memorable family event. David I think it's interesting that you believe that American society portrays men as being fat and stupid, because my experience has been the total opposite: both in my professional and personal life. Maybe it's because I don't take the media all that seriously since I had such a strong upbringing where this subject is concerned, but it's no wonder I read too much in to comment! I'm glad we all have something in common. www.iloveakiwi.com

Enigmatik said...

Sup NUPE,

My LB and I were watching this commerical the other day and first off we noticed that the mama was fine (am I lying?), second of all we both asked "Where's the Daddy at?" Everytime I've seen this commerical, I've felt the same as you...more and more angry that they think that it is cool to portray a black, single parent family as the norm.

We don't need to be eating fried chicken anyways...

plez... said...

enigmatik,

the mother is a very nice looking lady! *smile*

...and i'm sorry to admit that i dined on some chicken wings last night with a frat brother who visiting with my family over the weekend.

Enigmatik said...

they weren't from KFC were they?

Suldog said...

Just to expand a bit on my Cousin David's thoughts:

My Dad, way back in the 60's and 70's, used to rail against sitcoms and commercials and most everything else on TV because of the way they portrayed men (fathers) as stupid and incompetent and hardly worthy of the title "man". It's only gotten worse since then.

Someone mentioned the dad from "Everybody Hates Chris" (great show) and he may well be the best portrayal of a dad on TV - hard working, not an idiot, tries very hard to do what's right. Who else is there? Homer Simpson? Family Guy? And who else is there on the three major networks? Crab Guy from My Name Is Earl? It's a wasteland for male role models, and probably even more so for black male role models. I feel so bad for the black man raising a family and doing the right thing. It must be hell to see some of these things like this commercial.

I wouldn't have thought of it before, not having seen this commercial myself, but now that I have, and seen how much some folks are affected, I'll boycott KFC until you get a righteous response. I'll be back to check. Thanks for this, Plez.

plez... said...

suldog,

i have called and written KFC, just waiting to hear their response to my complaint.

lotus07 said...

Well, first of all, I am Caucasian, and second, I felt the exact same thing you did when I first saw this commercial. It was blatantly obvious to me that this commercial was stereo-typing the 'average' middle class African-American family as being fatherless.

I have railed against the media for years on this subject (subtle exclusion by the media breeds normalcy in the viewers eyes).

This sort of thing is all over the media. They no longer hold society to a standard, they simply market to the largest market share, even if that share sets a bad example.

Here in Phoenix, AZ, every billboard in town is in Spanish and as much as a quarter of the population are illegal emigrants, but that does not stop Coke and Budweiser from pandering to them.

The more I see commercials like this, the more it trains me to look for what is 'missing' and question everything.