Saturday, November 20, 2010

There Are Some Roles that Need to be Turned Down (Revised to reflect accurate company Activision Publishing Inc.)

Kobe Bryant and Jimmy Kimmel shooting a machine gun and bazooka; Magic Johnson, Troy Aikman and Hulk Hogan peddling Rent-A-Center; Carl Weathers acting like a clown with a Bud Light Playbook; and I am sure the list goes on and on.
I truly understand the need for work and residuals by entertainers, however, these are well known celebrities who I am sure could have turned the aforementioned roles down. Kobe, Jimmy and Troy are still active in their respective professions with Magic and Carl more in the backgrounds.

The issue I have with their particular involvement in these ads are the fact that they are detrimental, especially the Kimmel and Bryant ad for Activision Publishing, Inc's XBOX game Call of Duty. What really caught my eye beyond Kobe’s involvement was the scene with the very young girl firing away with an Oozie Machine Gun. Kobe is also seen firing away with the Oozie and Jimmy Kimmel has a bazooka. Absolutely ridiculous!!!! Shame on Activision Publishing Inc's ad agency folks and the Activision Publishing Inc. execs for approving the content of that advertisement. We won’t even get into the Call of Duty game itself. That’s another blog post.  In truth, I am disgusted with Kobe for being involved in this non-sense especially given the increasing murder rates in our African American communities.

Now folks, come on……… our murder rates are rising in urban areas and we are going to show a Kobe Bryant firing an Oozie. Does that make sense to you? If it does, we are worse off than I thought. Next time the Call of Duty ad is played, take a good look at it. See beyond the “game.” What message is Kobe and Jimmy sending? I know many of you would say “None.” Many of you would say, “There he is thinking too deep again.” But think about it….am I? With murder rates in cities like Paterson and Newark, New Jersey on the rise by our children and teenagers, no one stops to think that there is a connection? Only one of the hottest basketball players of our time making it look like it is alright to be shooting and killing. Come on. We have got to do better than that.

In terms of Rent-A-Center, that is one of the worst deals anyone can make. Over the long haul the “renter” has paid over and over again for something that could have been purchased at a much less expensive price than what will be paid over the life of the rental agreement. The “renter” would be better off to save for the “big screen TV” or furniture or perhaps use a lay away plan. The worst thing one could do is to get into an agreement with Rent-A-Center, yet here we have names such as Magic Johnson, Troy Aikman and Hulk Hogan singing the praises of Rent-A-Center advocating our going there to quickly rent our entertainment and furniture needs. Like Kobe, Magic Johnson of all people ought to know how their involvement is impacting the African American communities. I am sure Sony and Rent-A-Center are very much aware hence their being selected to be a part of the advertising campaigns. Mr. Aikman and Hulk Hogan are no better. So when we critically think about this, we have to see that sometimes there are roles that need to be turned down based on what the company is marketing and to whom. The last thing kids need to see is Kobe Bryant squeezing off rounds from and Oozie. The last thing disenfranchised folks need to see is Troy Aikman or Hulk Hogan steering them towards deals that everyone knows is even more costly in the long run. Who is pimping who?

I have much respect for entertainers such as Angela Bassett, Morgan Freeman, Danny Glover, Bill Cosby, etc. who will not take roles that will be detrimental to themselves or the communities they serve. They place their self-respect and the respect of their support base above the proverbial “Almighty Dollar.”  They do not allow themselves to be pimped. As always I welcome your thoughts and commentary.


freez said...

I concur -- the marketing of violence eases people's acceptance of violence on all levels from street crime, violence perpetrated by the forces of the state against political opposition and foreign policy pressed thru violence. Pls read my take on this same subject

Anonymous said...

Freez, Thanks for the support and I will indeed read your thoughts.