the 49ers are in a bit of trouble over a "controversial" training video. you can watch the video here, courtesy of ifilm. among other things, people are saying that the video contains racists representations of chinese people, sterotypical representations of gay men, a pair of topless lesbians, and then in a later scene a lot of topless women. now after watching the video myself, i agree that it's inappropriate and offensive, particularly the chinese restaurant bit, and the hot lesbians making out (although admittedly, i tend to stare whenever i see hot lesbians make out at bars or wherever). however, i can't help but think that there are some contradictory types of protesting going on. in fact, getting in a tizzy about the topless women seems a little puritanical to me.
are we so naive as to think that professional football players don't frequent strip clubs and aren't entertained by dick and fart jokes (which is what much of the final scene basically amounts to)? i'm not saying it's right to parade women around as objects, but in terms of the NFL, teams do it all the time in the form of cheerleaders. is anyone protesting them? i'm just thinking that the alternative is your basic run of the mill HR training video that all people just tune out anyway. so i will at least give props to the guy who is in trouble for attempting to make a rather mundane training activity interesting. again, not to say that he did it correctly. i'm not really sure what my point is, but i think that to call the 49ers complete bigots may be going to far. it's not like there's a pattern....oh wait...forgot about garrison hearst.
also, the chinese guy bit. while the glasses and the buck teeth are extremely offensice, the accent, in my opinion, really isn't that offensive. there are plenty of people out here in california who are chinese immigrants who do speak with a heavy accent. they do pronounce their r's as l's. there are plenty of times where things get lost in translation, and the resulting sentences are funny.
as for the gay representation part, again, i think it's a little offensive, but i find that people seem to pick and choose when to say something is a bad stereotype or not. are not the same effeminate gay male stereotypes perpetuated in other shows like queer eye for the straight guy or will and grace? both of these are shows that i've enjoyed at one time or another, but i've always felt a little uncomfortable with some of the jokes because in some other contexts they could be considered extremely offensive. i've always wondered why i've never heard of gay activist groups making noise about these things. then again, it's not like i'm trying to get gay activists groups to do anything about it, so maybe they are making some noise about these things and i just don't know.
my final point, i guess, is that the video, in the context of the fact that they're trying to train hypermasculine football players, should definitely not shock us, given the fact that sports in general are and always have been set up along racial and gendered hierarchies anyway. or maybe my point is that this video should make us more aware of other types of media representations that we usually let skate. or maybe i'm trying to say that this just proves again, what a second class organization the niners are how they'll never able to match the class and dignity of the world's greatest sports franchise the dallas cowboys.
p.s. for those of you who are following the whole t. cruise-katie holmes romance/sham, robomuffin.com has posted the video of the highlights of the whole crazy-ass oprah winfrey show appearance. (however, for a much funnier edited montage of the whole ordeal, tvgasm.com has put together a little montage of t. cruise's greatest moments set to a fun little guster (one of the ragin' asian's favorite semi-indie bands) ditty called "center of attention".) after you watch that, watch the dane cook appearance on the jimmy kimmel show (next on the list of clips on robomuffin) for more hilarity. geez, tom cruise is so g. a. y.
update 06-06-05 - it looks like that robomuffin has exceeded their bandwidth for the month. so you can't get to the tom cruise video there. however, as always, ifilm comes through and provides us with the footage here.