Nothing says wholesome like a show that depicts the graphic murder of one of its main characters on every episode.
When Microsoft decided to cancel its sponsorship of a live "Family Guy" episode earlier this week, the TV world had a good chuckle at their expense. The 'Soft pulled out, they said, because they were shocked by the offensive content of a show that included jokes about the Holocaust and incest. To which anyone who'd ever watched a second of the Fox animated hit replied: "Yeah, well, duh."
In light of Microsoft's last-minute change of heart, Joe Flint at the Los Angeles Times asked a media consulting firm to find out if the Redmond giant had bought advertising with other not-so-squeaky-clean shows. The results: Hilarious hypocrisy.
An abbreviated rundown of the money Microsoft spent on advertising last year:
- Nearly $5 million for new and syndicated episodes of "Family Guy"
- $4 million for CBS's "Two and a Half Men"
- Undetermined amounts for AMC's "Breaking Bad" about a teacher turned meth dealer, FX's "Nip/Tuck" which is about as racy as the come, "Rescue Me" which features an s-bomb from Denis Leary approximately every 35 seconds and, of course, a cool $1 million to "South Park," the biggest "offender" of all.
As Flint points out, it's not so much that Microsoft chooses to advertise with shows that push the boundaries of what basic cable deems acceptable. That's part of what makes those shows worthy of financial support. The real problem comes when Microsoft contradicts itself so blatantly.
Earlier this week they were "shocked" that their brand was tied to a show featuring jokes about abortion and Mother Theresa. But tonight, on TBS, when a "Family Guy" repeat airs for the 1,000th time and Peter makes a joke about a handicapped gay Asian midget who died while masturbating? Then, not so much.