This past Thursday, activists in the Los Angeles area petitioned against bus ads for Fox TV’s upcoming fall show Red Band Society bus advertisements, which, according to the L.A. Times, have been deemed racist and offensive. The Stephen Spielberg series premiered this week on Wednesday and stars actress Octavia Spencer who was seen in the advertisement next to the words “Scary B!tch.” Coupled with the New York Times article published this morning about Shonda Rhimes, you have to wonder if anyone’s taking a look at things before they go public.
Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority representative Marc Littman said the advertisement would be pulled because it was deemed derogatory to women. In a press conference, Littman said of the actions being taken: “That speaks for itself. That was not acceptable.” The advertisement was featured on 190 buses and will be removed promptly.
The announcement to remove the Red Band Society advertisement came at a Metro committee meeting when protesters arrived to speak against it. One protestor, Jasmyne Cannick, noted Butler’s nickname in Red Band Society is a negative stereotype often used to label Black women. She said: “I don’t know if I find it more offensive because I’m black, or more offensive because I’m a woman. I sometimes think our city forgets that there are black people that still live here and call Los Angeles home.”
In a released statement, a Fox spokeswoman said: “Metro Los Angeles ultimately decided to take down the ads, and we respect that decision.We sincerely apologize if the copy was offensive to viewers.”
On Wednesday, Los Angeles Metro chief executive Art Leahy made the decision to remove the ads. Littman told L.A. Times, CBS Outdoor who controls the Metro’s advertising contracts did not flag the advertisements despite the language used. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti who serves on the Metro board stated the advertisement agency needs to strengthen their policies in order to avoid future occurrences of this particular incident.
Below is a video of the “Red Band Society” advertisement.
Do you find it offensive?