February 8, 2007, - 1:58 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
As you’ve probably heard, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) is criticizing the General Motors Superbowl ad, in which a robot working on the assembly line loses everything for dropping a bolt and contemplates suicide.
The AFSP believes the ad may encourage others to consider suicide and is calling on GM to pull the ad. GM refuses and will be running it during the Academy Awards on February 25th.
A number of you cited that ad as one of your favorites from the Superbowl, and it scored high on USA Today’s Buzzmeter for Superbowl ads. As you probably noted, this ad was not on my list of favorites, but not because of the suicide stuff. When I saw the ad, I figured that groups like the AFSP would end up objecting, which they did.
But the reason I did not like the ad is something specific to living in Michigan, specifically near the Motor City. I remember as a kid, when robots were first replacing people’s jobs. If anything, they’re the ones who lost everything and contemplated suicide–the humans. I saw people in my parents’ synagogue lose their factories, their companies, everything they had because robots replaced humans. The same goes for autoworkers, many of whom were replaced by the electronic gadgets.
While I’m mostly a free marketeer, I’m also a “human-teer”, and I can’t help but lament the continued prospects of robots replacing humans. (And the Michigan economy–with so many lost auto-worker jobs–is already down in the dumps.) So, that’s why I didn’t like that ad, even though I agree that it was kind of funny (and sad).
Tags: American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, General Motors, Michigan, the Academy Awards, USA Today