The Sneezing Opossum
You may recall the brouhaha last year when Megyn Kelly told Fox viewers Santa Claus is white. If you don’t recall that, congrats, you have room in your brain for more important information, like how much Tom Brady enjoys his balls.
Kelly took a lot of flak for her comment, especially when she added that Jesus is also white. I won’t go so far as to say I agree with her, but much like Anne Hathaway’s Oscar dress, I can kind of see her points.
Jesus and Santa Claus are alike, in that both are fictional characters dating back millennia from not-quite white-bread places. Also, Kirk Cameron still believes in both of them. But over time, much like the rock ‘n’ roll industry and the House leadership since 2010, their faces have become more and more white.
As someone who rolled his eyes when the new Fantastic Four film cast a black Human Torch (while keeping his sister white), I can understand why conservatives bristle at tinkering with their beloved characters.
By contrast, liberals seem to care passionately about non-beloved characters, and I’m not just talking about Joe Biden.
Last Christmas, Target ran an ad campaign for girls’ clothing in conjunction with the release of the new Annie film, starring Quvenzhané Wallis. If you don’t remember that, congrats, you have room in your brain for the proper pronunciation of “Quvenzhané.”
The ad campaign triggered an angry petition that garnered over 7,000 signatures, or roughly 700 for every person who paid money to see that film.
Their objection? Although Target’s campaign featured the obligatory multi-racial collection of jailbait, at least two large posters depicted a single white girl.
If you’re fuming right now, chances are you’re a liberal with an “Anthony Weiner still sending dick pics after being outed”-level of stupid.
Keep in mind Target was not re-casting Annie. They were selling clothes. If anything, the complaint should be that the girl wasn’t a ginger with visible pupils.
To its credit, Target didn’t immediately withdraw the ads. They explained that they had approached Wallis to appear in the ads but she declined, citing the fact that the film would be out of theatres by the time she signed her first name on the contract.
The instigator of the petition shot back that Target should have replaced Wallis with—this is not a joke—a “reasonable facsimile.” Right. Because in no way would Target have caught shit by suggesting that all Annies look alike.
Whose kids are that obsessed with Annie, anyway? I was surprised to learn that the strip lasted until 2010. As far as I can tell, it began solely as an FDR jobs program for grade-school play directors.
Its demographic is older than Blondie’s. Couldn’t they get the rights to The Yellow Kid? It would be fun to see the petitions about how he isn’t yellow enough, written by angry liberals with jaundice.
By the way, we think of Annie as a throwback to a more innocent age, but do you know how the Little Orphan Annie strip finally ended? She was abducted to Guatemala with The Butcher of the Balkans. We were mercifully spared the scene in which Daddy Warbucks finds a long red hair in his imported plantains.
In any event, Target deserves a certain amount of criticism for its shady business practices, like trying to advertise its products. You simply can’t do that in an era of hypersensitivity. People are offended when actors are the wrong ethnicities, the wrong gender, or Matthew McConaughey.
Consider—as I often do—Victoria’s Secret. Their “Perfect Body” campaign came under fire because none of the models are fat. That’s like complaining no one in a Versace ad is wearing Sears, or that the actors in an Olive Garden commercial are eating actual food.
Yes, I know taste is subjective, but set aside your chubby-chasing for a moment and consider the possibility that Victoria’s Secret is selling clothing, not psychiatric care for your body-image issues.
If you don’t believe me that those criticisms are spawned solely from jealousy, check out any Candice Swanepoel YouTube fitness video and read the comments section. There’s nothing like being lectured about how we need to “respect all body types” while some fatass Twinkie addict tells us how the exercise-conscious model “needs to eat a sandwich.”
Jason Johnson is the author of Here’s Another Damn Book That No One Will Read. Prove him wrong, folks. Prove him wrong.