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Is Richard Simmons’ Bridgestone Commercial Offensive?

The Super Bowl remained scandal free last night. No titties, no flagrant homophobia, as some saw in law year’s Snicker’s commercial, and, honestly, nothing too terribly exciting. In fact, we were only intrigued by two things: a shot of Gisele downing a glass of wine and a Fed-Ex commercial featuring giant pigeons.

Michael Jensen over at AfterElton, however, takes major issue with this Richard Simmons Bridgestone commercial.

Jensen writes:

I can’t shake the feeling that it means something pretty ugly that this commercial is apparently saying we shouldn’t run over animals, or the equally odd Alice Cooper (caressing a snake, no less).

But Richard Simmons? Hey, he’s fair game! In fact, running him over is an almost irresistible urge!

Jensen seems to think Bridgestone targeted Simmons for his flamboyancy and unspoken homosexuality, which make him an acceptable punching bag. We disagree: we think they chose him because he’s fucking annoying. Awesome, yes, but still irksome. And, besides, Simmons put himself in that situation. If he doesn’t find anything objectionable, then why should we? Girl’s making money.

On:           Feb 4, 2008
Tagged: , , , ,
    • Matt

      I agree with Queerty. He’s hilarious but annoying and that’s why they wanted to run him over and not because he was gay. Jeesh, Jensen needs to calm down. There are plenty of gay people I would love to run down not because they are gay but because they are annoying as hell. Too bad ML wasn’t in the ad.

      Feb 4, 2008 at 9:10 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • dvlaries

      He’s both hilarious AND annoying because he is so unashamedly desperate. When you want to be in show business as badly as RS, but have zero talent, exploiting fatties is about the best you can do, short of circus clown.

      Feb 4, 2008 at 9:36 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • emb

      I’m torn on this: yeah, it’s true that RS is phenomenally annoying, which in itself might merit being run over by a car on a dark country road (hm), but the REASONS for his being construed as annoying are all generally gay stereotypes: a habit of wearing unsuitably and inappropriately tiny clothing, combined with flamboyantly feminine mannerisms and voice. I think at its core, this is a homophobic ad (and I really hate to sound that paranoid, but there we are). There is a whole world of annoying “types” that could have been selected instead of an ultra-effeminate man: mimes spring to mind (would’ve looked good in the headlights, too).

      It kinda made me wince when I first saw it, and after more consideration, I really do think it’s Bad.

      Feb 4, 2008 at 9:52 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Krista

      I cannot believe how hyper-sensitive Mr. Jensen is acting. Richard Simmons is quite possibly one of the most annoying people on the planet and it’s not because he’s gay, it’s because he has taken what should have been 15 minutes of fame and worked it into a career.

      With all due respect to Mr. Jensen, how he could find fault with Bridgestone, but not be disgusted by those racially and ethnically insenstive ads by salesgenie.com simply defies logic and reason.

      Feb 4, 2008 at 10:37 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jon

      It’s not homophobic. I doubt Jensen would be complaining if it were a gay couple driving the car and they came across Coulter or Limbaugh in the middle of the road and did the same.

      Feb 4, 2008 at 10:37 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • RJ

      Richard Simmons is gay?

      Feb 4, 2008 at 11:22 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hells kitchen guy

      When I was watching, I screamed “Kill the fag!” Then I was like, oh wait … I’m a fag. But seriously, it was kind of funny and I’d like think Simmons was laughing too. Hey, people can look at any commercial and find hidden meanings. I think this was pretty innocuous, gay wise.

      Feb 4, 2008 at 11:33 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Allen

      Come on … it’s Richard Simmons! I would speed up too.

      I found it funny and not offensive at all.

      Feb 4, 2008 at 11:55 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dawster

      first off, in John Water’s filmed lecture (out on DVD and parts on YourTube.com) he told a story about limits… and that the first time Divine met Richard Simmons, she felt homophobic.

      second of all, his PERSONALITY was the issue, and it was usually made fun of years ago on David Letterman way back when – Richard Simmons would show up in various parts of the theater, stalking David Letterman. the personality was the joke, the gay thing was irrelevant (as in the commercial, Simmons was exercising… not fucking a boy toy or doing something “gay” for which to be run over).

      Michael Jenson is an oversensitive drama queen who takes offense at anything and everything in order to give his mundane life meaning so that he can continue his delusion of self-importance. listening to him is like listening to a hypochondriac.

      in the end, Richard Simmons didn’t get run over – so the argument is lost. if Richard Simmons agreed to the concept, what really is MJ’s point other than to be be an attention-whorish crybaby?

      Feb 4, 2008 at 12:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Rick

      the ad needed letterman and a fire extinguisher

      Feb 4, 2008 at 2:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Johnnie R


      The most awesome catch ever in the history of the Super Bowl and a come from behind, streak ending win by the Giants who were 12 point underdogs to the Patriots and you say NOTHING EXCITING….

      Damn….that’s just sad…..

      Feb 4, 2008 at 4:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brain

      Face it: he embodies extreme gay stereotypes, and this is part of why people hate him so much.

      Having him (almost) be run over by a car at the most prominent entertainment event of the year for straight men?

      Ug, it creeped me out. I could hear people cheering his death all over the country…and now even on some gay sites? Very weird.

      Feb 4, 2008 at 6:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ptboat

      Wether or not you think the commercial was homophobic (something with which I disagree, because the reason that most people have always had an issue with Mr. Simmons is that he seems like a big ol’ queen) the commercial is offensive because it makes it seem like it is okay to try and murder someone who one thinks is offensive, annoying, or different. Well, we have a little to much of that right now. Certainly, in my home town, a boy was just murdered for being different.

      Feb 23, 2008 at 4:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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