The morning cable news shows were outraged Friday morning about a skit shown during a Cleveland Cavaliers basketball game on Wednesday evening that has been all the rage in Twitter rage this week.
Aside from the greatest offense of the video, that being crap quality, the skit is a spoof of a commercial you’ve probably seen from United Health Care, where a couple attempts to reenact a scene from Dirty Dancing and end up injuring themselves. In the Cavs spoof, instead of accidentally throwing his significant other, the representative male type character tosses the representative victim on purpose for being a Bulls fan. Here is the dastardly clip:
Aside: It is perhaps useful to explain that in sports, sometimes the fans of one team are less than thrilled with people who are fans of a different team. This phenomenon is sometimes referred to scientifically as “rivalry.”
The internet spilled much digital blood over the skit, and the Cavs have since apologized.
Domestic violence is a very serious matter and has no place in a parody video that plays in an entertainment venue. We sincerely apologize to those who have been affected by domestic violence for the obvious negative feelings caused by being exposed to this insensitive video.
Seriously? The nature of an obvious parody is that it is obvious. And parody. I mean it says it like, right there in the description. It was a spoof of a spoof, not an incitement to wife-beating. The absurdity robs it of its seriousness because that is what absurdity means. Is there a human being out there who genuinely thinks that the ad promotes or excuses literal domestic violence? What kind of guy is out there watching the game and sees this clear joke and thinks “well how about that? I never thought of BEATING her before, but hey if the Cavs think it’s cool, who am I to argue” and then goes and gets his sleeveless white t-shirt and a can of Natural Light? Who thinks that??
Now, we will add that, from a critical standpoint, the skit does miss the mark in one way. After the absurd tossing of the girlfriend/wife/life partner/part time domestic companion, we see her on the sidelines nursing her injuries, groaning in pain, and rubbing her joints. Then at the end of the skit, she’s holding a comically oversized bag of ice to her head. If there is any room for critique, it is that absurdity has to remain absurd rather than explicit, or you sort of ruin the joke. There’s Tom and Jerry violence, and then there’s Itchy and Scratchy. There’s a pratfall, and then there’s “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.” Basically you want to stick with America’s Funniest Home Videos without crossing over into America’s Most Wanted.
The Cavs didn’t quite make it to Most Wanted, but it would have been a lot better if they’d cut the moaning in pain scene. Still, as an epic incitement and insensitivity to “domestic violence” worthy of media nanny whine fests, this video was nothing to write home from prison about.