Monday, August 23, 2010

When you're a GUY

I have to say I was surprised by this Dish Network Commercial:



I was more surprised by this Twitter exchange:
: Oh Dish Network, good job pissing me off: "are you tired of paying for ... shopping channels, when you're a guy." #wtf
: @dan4th Official DISH Feed here,caught your Tweet. Is there something we can be of assistance with? *JB
: @dishnetwork the ad suggesting that there's something wrong with guys watching shopping channels is fairly offensive, not funny.
: @dan4th We have forwarded your concerns to our programming department. Thanks for the feedback. *JB

Slightly concerned that this makes me one of those people sitting around waiting for things to be offended by, but also, nice job reinforcing gender stereotypes.

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My partner points out that I got a response from Dishnetwork through twitter in less time than he got a response from Comcast while he was on hold with their customer service. I pointed out that he should tweet at them.

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update 12:42pm:

@dan4th DISH twitter team here. Shopping channels are provided at no cost. They may lower your bill as they can make DISH money. *M
: @dishnetwork The issue is that the ad implies that there's something wrong with guys being interested in shopping. it's sexist.
@dishnetwork additionally, that explanation basically means that the premise of your ad is a lie ("paying for shopping channels").
@dishnetwork which makes it both sexist and insulting. It's a terrible ad with a cheap punchline, and you should pull it.

So, I realize that by posting on DifferenceBlog, the context of the blog makes my position clear, but in case it's not clear, let me spell it out as unambiguously as I can:

I am a big fan of offensive humor. I have no problem with poking at stereotypes when it's funny, or to make a point. This ad does neither. It simply has Charlie Ergen, the founder of DISH network, implying that no guy would be interested in shopping channels, that it's intuitively obvious that guys wouldn't want shopping channels.

That's a load of crap, and not something I particularly want old white guys telling me over the commercial break. I find it particularly threatening to have an old, rich, white man telling me that it's not OK for men to like shopping during my leisure time, that I'm somehow less of a man if I watch QVC. Reinforcing those stereotypes isn't necessary to the point they're trying to make, and I find it doubly insulting when I complain about it, and then they tell me that the premise of the commercial is untrue, because the shopping channels are free anyway, and a moneymaker for DISH network.

I was mildly offended by the ad when I made the initial tweet. Now I'm legitimately angry.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

I would like to point out: out-of-the-woodwork post ahoy!

said...

Heh. Yes, it was a bit out of the blue. But I felt like any lingering audience DifferenceBlog had would be more interesting in the inherent sexism in this commercial than any other group I might tell about it.

Bitsy said...

I was happy to read the post, even out of the blue.

said...

I absolutely agree. I just saw this commercial, and immediately searched for it on Google due to its offensive and highly stereotypical message it portrays.

The way in which the Dish spokesperson refers to shopping, as well, is extremely sexist. He says it as if men would be disgusted or put-off by shopping channels being present on their television sets. This not only asserts that shopping networks are only for women, but that men should be disgusted by "putting up with" traditionally female-targeted programming, or anything which may be viewed as female-oriented.

Rorison Meadows said...

are you a guy that watches the shopping channels? no? then STFU...stop being offended for other people...that's why this country has a pole up its ass

said...

I *just* saw this ad and it hit me like a bag of bricks. I won't be having anything to do with Dish Network at this point.

said...

I was just as offended when I saw the commercial for the first time! Maybe it is time to switch to DirectTV?

said...

I have to say that I am terribly surprised that I haven't seen more posts about this commercial. I saw it for the first time about a week ago or so, and was surprised at how openly sexist it was. I'm glad I'm not the only one who noticed!

Not only does his statement make it seem preposterous for any man to like shopping channels, but also the reverse: that all women watch shopping channels, which is just as much of an erroneous statement. Personally, I hate shopping channels, and have even gone so far as to block them from my television in the past so I don't have to flip through them when I'm channel surfing.

said...

I really appreciate that you mentioned this, both to the network and on your blog. As a woman watching that commercial, I would get so upset that I would want to change the channel. I don't like shopping networks, what does gender have to do with that?! Besides the obvious gender-bias, I was bothered by how little the commercial even made sense. I noticed they have changed the commercial, and I credit you and other people who spoke up (rather than passive-aggressively fume, like I did). Anyway, thanks.

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