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A letter to hulu

March 10, 2010

To whom it may concern,

Yesterday, while watching an episode of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” the content was interrupted by advertisements for Calvin Klein underwear, their “X marks the spot” campaign.

Two of the ads can be found here and here. The ads included naked men aggressively talking to the viewer: “Do you want to see my dick?”, “C’mon, you know you want to”, “You want some fucking more?”

While I understand that by viewing this episode I acknowledged that I would be viewing “mature content” and that there would be advertisements, I was not expected to feel violated in my own space while viewing this episode. This advertisement is aggressive and it assaults the viewer. For the many people who have been asked in real life, “Do you want to see my dick?” (or similar such attacks) when they absolutely did not, this can bring back memories of harassment, assault, and sexual violence. This advertisement absolutely made me feel unsafe and uncomfortable. I am not easily offended by nudity, sex, and sexuality, but this ad was aggressive and predatory.

I understand that you do not control the content of the advertisements, but you do have the right to deem ads inappropriate for your website. I will be similarly contacting Calvin Klein about this ad, but I ask that you take it down (and all of the commercials for the x marks the spot campaign) for the safety and comfort of your viewers.

Thanks for your time, I would love to hear what action you plan to take about this commercial.

Sincerely,
_______

Thanks Em, for inspiring me to write hulu. Feel free to email them too at feedback@hulu.com

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. Jill permalink
    March 12, 2010 2:01 AM

    This is really, really excellent Becky.

  2. Hal Edmonson permalink
    March 12, 2010 8:26 AM

    Seconded.

  3. happybodies permalink
    March 12, 2010 1:10 PM

    No response yet! But thanks for the support.

  4. Samantha permalink
    March 12, 2010 4:51 PM

    Good job, Becky. This is one of the many reasons why I love you. I was viewing the new Gaga/Beyonce video on “perez hilton” last night…. one that is very graphic and shocking, but a piece that I felt empowered by- specifically in terms of my own sexuality. Anyhoo, right before the video queued up, one of those Calvin Klein ads appeared and I had a very similar reaction. It happened so quickly that I really didn’t even have time to reflect on the power such a short clip asserted in my own psyche, but I do recall feeling immediately violated (much like you described). I think the dichotomy of the ad and what followed thereafter mitigated my remembrance of the former, but upon viewing these ads again as separate works, I too am reminded of how taken I aback I was in that moment. I consider myself to be incredibly open minded and not easily fazed as well, but I don’t know if any woman could view that ad without recalling such experiences that you described. This ad is ASSAULTING, I’ve no doubt.

    So thanks for recognizing this for what it was and bringing attention to it. I probably would have simply overlooked and internalized the ads message had you not addressed it and allowed me (and all others) to confront how such ads affect us. I will certainly be writing in as well. You’re the best- I so love this site.
    xo

  5. Kiana permalink
    March 14, 2010 7:19 AM

    Well said! This ad was totally unnecessary…

  6. konkonsn permalink
    March 15, 2010 9:33 PM

    Is it still playing? I’ll definitely write an e-mail as well.

    • happybodies permalink
      March 16, 2010 7:40 PM

      Unfortunately, as I was watching It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (I’m addicted) again last night, the ads showed up again. I did finally get a response from hulu:

      Thanks for writing.

      We’re sorry to hear you were offended by those ads. I’ve shared your e-mail with
      our ad sales team, and they’ll share it with our advertiser as well. User feedback
      is valued, whether it’s about our service, advertising, or anything!

      So the ad isn’t off hulu yet, but I think sending another email would be a great help! Thanks!

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