Are we overreacting to the Pepsi Max portrayal of the “Angry Black Woman?”
Filed under African Americans
Tagged as black woman, pepsi max, super bowl commercial
When I saw this commercial it made be uncomfortable and yes I found it offensive. Black women are constantly being classified as angry, controlling, etc, etc. I am so sick of it. Why did she have to be mean and hatful to her husband to get the point across. Why couldn’t she be a nice happy person helping her man. It is ridiculous the messages they like to put out in the community about black women. There was nothing funny about this.
That commercial was not cool at all. It wasnt even entertaining. Why did she have to hit the young jogger in the head. You know America has a soft spot for young blonde white woman. Just keeping it real.
why would she take a burger out of his mouth and put in soap? The commercials goal i think was to get people to talk.
It was an awful ad with negative imagery across the board. The ad is offensive to women, black and white and has a poor portrait of the family. How can you in this age where we are trying to promote the family could you show a wife kicking a man. What was Pepsi thinking – Max Stupidity.
I found this to be a funny commercial. Anyone with common sense would see that the woman was through the can at the man and not the woman. If all the people in the commercial were black it would be funny or if they were all white it would be funny. I think that we are so into politic correctness that we inteject our own stereotypes into what we are watching.
On the flipside even if Pepsi was playing on the stereotypes that we laugh at in the comedy clubs and in our own circles, it5 was still funny.
On the real I think any woman whether black or white would want to through the can at the man for looking at and seemingly flirting with another woman black or white when the one they are with are working hare to keep him healthy and looking right!
Yes, the ad is demeaning of men and women of any race. It had no point! It was just perpetuating the biases of too much of the American public. Pepsi will not get my business if it continues to use this ad. It is offensive on all fronts.
That was the most offensive ad I’ve seen in the 21st century. Glad I don’t buy pepsi products but I’ll send them an angry black woman note. How dare they? They just don’t want to let it go, and we don’t help any, developing these Black women roles on BET. It is very distressing!
what reason did she have to disrespect the brother.. she’s lucky it was’nt me. and i’m 80 yrs old
Those that don’t think this is funny have never been to a comedy stand up show in their life, nor have they had a male spouse that refuses to eat healthy. Throwing the can was a bit too much, but it was funny as they did leave together.
I say get a life and a funny bone.
This is part of what I see as a trend of attacking African American woman and I am tired of it. Pepsi will never see a penny of my money as long as this ad runs and I will work to have them boycotted. They have gone too far. First it was the gum-chewing, neck-snapping, I’m angry at the white woman for taking my man stereotype. That can’t float anymore, so now it is this. I see a lot of angry folks in American, not just Black women. I also see a lot of other loud females, i.e. Latino, Italian, West African & Jewish, but we are continually targeted and branded as the loud ones. Now that Michelle and her beautiful daughters are in the White House and they have provided an alternative narrative to the rump shaker, we see a full on assult again. Black women and those who love us of all genders and races should protest. This is absolutely unacceptable.
For those of you who are offended by this terrible ad, contact Pepsi at the following email address and let them know. Please do not hesitate. This matter needs immediate attention: email@example.com
I will never purchase or drink another pepsi cola. How dare they assult our character and then attempt to make it funny, how insulting. Black women are under assult at every turn, if we accept this then we are deserving of it. The couple who participated in the delivery of this drive by should be very ashamed.
Say something to Pepsi if you don’t like the ad. Don’t just sit back and complain. If you take issue with the ad, then e-mail them AND stop buying their product!
The point of the commercial was well taken- the woman wanting her man to eat healthy…and Pepsi Max was the only thing that was acceptable to her- okay got it. The image of the angry, forceful black woman…mmm yeah, I have a problem with that. See, advertising is trickly, it’s directed to your subconscience mind. The woman was dark complected, she didn’t have a pleasant look and she could be considered “unpretty” by certain standards. Then to top it off the man is checking out a white women. That didn’t settle too well with me and I took notice to things on more than one level. But, if we didn’t have image problems in the media, it would be something we could laugh at and move on. But, because we are demeaned and demonized so much, you can’t help but pay attention to detail and the way we are portrayed. So, I understand if people take issue with it. I’m not overly concerned about it, but I don’t care much for the commercial at all.
It’s a COMMERCIAL people!!! And yes it was funny…says this “angry black woman.” lolololol
p.s. Define yourselves; and don’t worry about how others define you.
Should Black women be offended at the ad! The ad hits home! Black women shouldn’t be offended but I can understand if they are! My wife and I are an interracial couple of 36 years and I still find angry black women when we go places. I feel like they would rather I be alone than with any other type of female. My first wife was black and unfaithful. I divorced her and tried to move forward in relationships with other black women. I was rejected quite a few times. I was in the military. There were damn few black women where I was stationed. I’ve since learned to be color blind and happy! I guess i wasn’t bad boy enough. The commercial was damn funny to me!
usually it’s black men who are being put down and ridiculed and this is offensive to both black men and women were both labeled as angry the part about being attracted to the white female is real offensive remember Emmitt Till and ol white massa creepin around
I personally didn’t find anything offensive. I thought it was funny.
The Pepsi commercial depicting a beautiful looking Black couple with the female being angry at her man initially for no reason, is a negative racial defamation that perpetuates division amongst all people in general and Black family in particular. The commercial’s general aim seems to stereo type Black Woman and leave negative impressions of the black women on mass media. Unfortunately this stereo type of angry woman has far too many people buying into the commercial made image. I will compare this with cigarette commercials. Many people smoke because the commercials make it seem cool and self-pleasing; in the long run it is not funny.
Did anybody get the idea that the woman they are really trying to protray is really Michell and the agenda they hate of her pushing healthy eating and exercise for the young people and the nation? Is it really a streatch when you consider how much money they stand to lose when people begin taking care of themselves.
fEB 7 2011
When looking at Pepsi Max Commercial I kept thinking Why always these commericals show Blacks as being physical? Insulting our Black Males!
WHAT about the Black Actors doing these commericals? They can’t be that Hard-up for money!
WHY IS IT MEN AND BLACKS IN GENERAL DO NOT PROTECT OUR OWN!
Black women are nice compared to Japanese woman. They look innocent, but they are cold blooded. I live in Japan. They touch other men in front of their husbands. Many don’t have sex with their husbands after they have a baby or two. They yell at their husbands in public. They are loud in public. They play their husbands for security. More than half are in extra maritial relationships. They keep their men mentally and emotionally weak. It’s funny to see. I am married to a Japanese woman. She tries that stuff on me. White guys have to ask their wives to go out and ve hone by a certain time. Japanese women make Black women look like angels. I think you may want to get a survey of how all women are. Black women can learn a lot from a Japanese woman, if they really want to attain to what an angry woman is. There’s a lot more to being angry than talking loud. These women dress to impress even when they go to a convenient store. Do you know why? Do the research.
Wanting your man to eat healthy and abusing him is two different things. The Commercial started off with a angry black woman controlling her man, but to put a white jogger in the commercial who smiles at her man and is nice shows that pepsi wanted to paint this woman as angry and that all black women are angry. Boycott Pepsi.
This commercial was not funny nor was it an encouragement to try Pepsi Max. It truly left me with the feeling of ‘raised eyebrows’ and ‘oh my, what’s next’. The feeling of aggression was clear. If portraying an aggressive woman (who just happened to be black) trying to get a reluctant spouse to eat healthy is how they think will get people to buy their product. Something is wrong in the minds of the Pepsi media people. I agree this is a negative portrait period! Yes, it is ‘just a commercial’. But, it sells, it gives impressions, it sends subliminal messages. Why couldn’t it have been a more positive way. This was way of course. Shame on Pepsi.
Correct Barbara, it is the same in the movies, when was the last time you have seen a black man win and get the girl or a black couple leave together happy. No it is always the black man dies or the black woman leaves with the white guy or the black man get his butt kicked by the wihite guy. These movies sends messages to our youths and to others also, and you see it in everyday life now.
I personally think it was funny, it just happen to be a young blond jogger, but I think the point that was being made is that she was trying to put her man in check, she was a bit harsh, but she had good intentions, she was trying to keep him healthy. She did not intentionally hit the jogger she was aiming for him, when he smiled at another chick, I don’t think it mattered who she was, just the fact that he was smiling at her. What do I know though, I have not been in a relationship in years, it is just me and my boys. I don’t have time for the drama.
I was genuinely upset when I seen the Pepsi commercial, I didn’t like one bit. It’s the typical old stereotyping that white Americans have historically embraced concerning African-Americans, and that hasn’t changed. Stereotyping groups of people is not something that goes away, it lingers for generations. The subliminal messages that are intertwined in these commercials, films, magazines etc. have for the most part taken a negative perspective of African Americans. Remember whose making these commercials, films etc.–bet your bottom dollar it’s a team of white male/females putting these commercials etc. together. Numerous times in commercials I have noticed how they have used large, non-sexual, non-threatening, overbearing types of Black women to sell their products. THAT’S NOT BY ACCIDENT. If Commercials are there to speak subconsciously to the buyer to purchase products, what effects do you think it could have on the subconscious concerning stereotypes?? Or what about all of those sexy commercials with the white women in them—they are to titillate the male into buying that car, that cologne, or razor—those things are effective—and most guys would add that they wouldn’t mind having the woman in the commercial as well. The Pepsi commercial was out of bounds on a number of fronts: The angry, domineering, violent black women, who emasculates her Black husband at every turn,. And to top it off, when the Black husband turns and smiles at the White woman with his angry Black wife sitting there—( you fill in the blanks)–there goes another one of those subliminal messages again!!!!
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There was nothing in the commercial implicating the notion of a Black angry women, although I am concerned about the meaning of the concept itself which requires a separate and a more lengthy discussion. The Black women in the commercial was doing what any spouse might do allowing for comic and dramatic license albeit in the context of attenuated Black images in the media. There is a potential racial element at the end with the introduction of the “blond” but that might suggest female vs. female competiveness as well as black female vs. white female competiveness. If it is the latter that is operating here as some comments have suggested, it creates a real dilemma. Apart from the expressed comments the commercial’s impact was intentionally heightened by the racial makeup of the actors. That would have been true if the white and Black women were interchanged. Today, while only quite recent, only white racist are expected to publicly hold views objecting to any showing of attraction between a Black man and white women, but it is subtly accepted that Black people might harbor similar views presumably based on a unique historic experience. Surely, the Black experience recognizes that extolling the beauty of the race, as well as its self worth and value, is not a basis for racial exclusion but is a pre-requisite and indeed a concomitant essential to fully embracing universal beauty and humanity.
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GS350JPN, thanks for the entry. I find this so interesting and fascinating. As a black woman in a mostly white city and state, I have endured my share of glares and suspicious glances, just by walking into my neighborhood stores that I have shopped for years. But it hasn’t caused me to be loud and angry in public, but I am sure it would be expected anyway. I also live around Japanese women and other Asian persuasions and have been curious about them, they do not mix with other races, just whites. I am sort of happy to hear they are not all they pretend to be, thanks again. K
your right. i feel the same way,humor is just that and if you cant smile at things in your life then stop living.
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Thanks… I sent them this email
I find your Pepsi Max Super Bowl Ad with the “Angry Black Woman”
Morally offensive and blatantly stereotypical… I have never seen an ad portraying anything this negative of any other nationality, and I am sure you would have reconsidered doing this portrayal of a Israeli (jewish), Italian, Asian or other in any advertisement….
Pepsi used to be the only cola I drank…. It will never pass my lips again as will any other product you distribute… I will be sure to make as many people as possible be aware of this distasteful, stereotypical, and downright offensive effort of Pepsi Co. to take advantage of the hate-mongering of Afro-American to Market its products to the masses….
I find that many males, including Afro-American males do not find it offensive when stereotypical images of Afro-American are portrayed in the media…. they think it is funny or support the statement and images… usually because of some harboured negative experience…
AA women experience the same feelings AA men do when they are all stereotyped as Lazy, Deadbeat, Criminal, Dirty….etc
It is time to stick together as a community, uplift each other while walking in each others shoes for a mile..
“I still find angry black women when we go places.” Really? From this single paragraph, I am am pretty sure that you are far from color blind. If you were, your life story would have absolutely nothing to do with this commercial. I don’t doubt that you have come across angry people in your lifetime. We all have. At this point, just love the one your with and stop cultivating assumptions about people you have never met. Thanks
I am offended at the implicit messages this ad sends. The anger in the relationship between the couple has no positive message at all, and wasn’t funny. What really shocked and appalled me, however, was the ending — hurting a stranger, and leave them without offering help. WHAT? Do we think this is OK? I don’t!!!! Just last week the national news ran a story about a boy being beat up by 5 other kids while an adult walked through the video without helping — and the news wondered how this could happen?! Pepsi can explain it and apparently endorses the behavior — because they apparently endorse the idea that hurting others is OK. No more PEPSI in this household. Shame on you Pepsi!!
Let us all take a step back and realize that the point of Super Bowl advertising is to be on the edge of controversy. The commercial was not that offensive.
Surely we can’t paint everything that is done by white folks and involves black folks racist.
And commercials with violence, or comedic violence are not new…
And all black women aren’t angry… when are we gonna stop feeling like we are defined by the characters on a tv?
SO I found this wesite as I was googling to see if anyone else found the ad offensive – I found it so, as I thought it minimized domestic violence.
I guess I missed it. I feel that most women would be a little offended by their man taking notice of any other woman. Now if the white lady in this commercial was the girlfriend of the young black man and she threw the object would she be the angry white woman. Actually I thought the commercial was funny. My wife has a big problem with me noticing other women and she happens to be Italian. While I think throwing an object at me would be a little far fectched, I would hear what my wife would have to say about my wondering eyes – right in front of the other women. It wouldn’t be a happy moment I can tell you that much or a desirable outcome.
Dearly beloved, I think you misspelled or used the wrong word(s) in your statement. In my humble opinion, the correct words you should have used was either threw or throw and not through (as going through something)!
And, the ad wasn’t funny. It was irritating.
Well put, Buttons.
It never once crossed my mind once that this could be offensive at all. All I got out of this commercial was that a woman’s husband was eating unhealthily and she wanted him to eat better. She disapproves in a humorous way of all the junk he eats, and when he tries to sneak a soda, generally an unhealthy food, she is ok with it because the soda is more “healthy” or whatever. The man checks out another woman, wife throws can at husband for looking at other woman, he ducks, hits the other woman. I don’t see anything wrong with that at all.
The only negativity coming out of this commercial is the people who are trying to make an issue out of it. What about the Audi commercial that depicted all the rich snooty people as white? That just pisses me off because white people are always made fun of as the rich snobs. (SARCASM ALERT)
You see how two can play that game? Honestly people need to lighten up.
OFFENSIVE!!! We want our men to be healthy. Making black women look like we cannot love our black men will be difficult for white people to accomplish because we as the first women on earth will speak against YOU and your unhealthy drinks and actions.
Take an emotion break. Enjoy humor without trying to make a federal case out of it.
Remember, who it was im the skit who lost her temper, and hit the white girl, and, who didn’t bother to stop and help – but who ran off with her male friend, leaving the girl lying on the ground. I don’t hear any concern for her. Where is the justice in the race issue here?
I honestly cannot believe that in this day and age–for so many reasons–that Pepsi would make an ad such as this.
I am a black female who considers myself to be a classy black woman whether I am working out or walking a runway was very offended by the PEPSI MAX commercial on Sunday. I called Pepsi today and voiced my concerns. I told them that I thought it was very irresponsible of them to even run the ad. I found out via the news yesterday that the creator of the commercial is a black male from Kansas City who stated that he modeled the commercial after his grandparents. If his childhood consisted of his grandfather always being beat by his grandmother I feel sorry for him. Especially since I grew up in a home with two black parents who loved each other. I was very embarrassed and bothered by the depiction of the angry black woman in that commercial. It was disgusting. I dont drink soda anyway, but anything pepsi I will definitely steer clear of! The number I called to complain 1.800.433.2652.
I thought it was a scream. It doesn’t matter to me at all that the couple was black. We are ALL stereotyped, constantly, regardless of race. Take it for fun. If it had been a fat white man and his equally fat wife, there would have been no controversy at all.
OMG..No this was not funny but sad – with black women already being portrayed as angry, this kind of ad only perpetuates sterotypical thinking. This black woman will not purchase Pepsi anything…sorry, do I sound angry?
Thanks DJ – just sent my email!
Classy Lady – Wow – really a black man huh? I sent my email to Pepsico – so yes he needs his cultural diversity and competency training from his JOB! I wonder if his family (who supposedly was the inspiration) thought his ad was funny!
I didn’t think the commmercial was entertaining in the least. However, I do understand how and why block women are portrayed as angry and controlling… Most of them are. I AM NOT SAYING THAT ALL BLACK WOMEN ARE ANGRY AND CONTROLLING!!! But 90% of the black women that I know are angry. They are loud, controlling, and seem to e just pissed off at the world. Cant deny the truth!
I did indeed send them a message as suggested, the message is below and the reply they sent me.
I do agree, that you should be ashamed of yourselves for depicting the black female as aggressive in her demeanor. you could have gotten your point across, if you were promoting the healthy version of pepsi products by showing the benefits of the product, but not degrading the behavior of the African American female as being hostile and to the extreme. Why do you have to try and pin race against race and women against women, this country is full of enough bigotry and stereotyping as it is. An angry woman should be just that an angry woman perhaps if you showed all angry women of every color and creed getting angry at their men for not eating healthy and throwing different beautiful joggers of different nationalities in the scenario, as to mix it up then, we could see the humor in it, and get the sense of it. The younger generations of African American girls, needs to know that it is o.k. to be themselves, and be beautiful at the same time.
A Message from PepsiCo Consumer Relations 012614444A
noreply to you – yesterday More Details
Thank you for contacting us at PepsiCo to share your sincere thoughts.
The commercial you cited was one of the winning consumer-created submissions in our web-based Crash the Super Bowl promotion. We apologize if you were upset or offended by this consumer submission, and we will share your feedback with our marketing teams so they can be aware of your concerns.
Thanks again for taking the time to write.
Consumer Relations Representative
DID YOU KNOW … *** All of Pepsi-Cola’s plastic soft-drink bottles contain an average of 10% recycled plastic, and the average aluminum can contains 40% to 50% recycled aluminum. ***
I am not sure about American Japanese women. The women who are here in Japan make Black women look like angels. The only difference in Japan is alimony and child support. Men don get slammed here. The law says that the children are property of the men in a divorce, but most men live their kids with the mothers. Please don’t miss understand me. We have our problems, but to run to another culture is no a solution. It’s just another option that has it’s own problems too. What make these “mixed” relationships work? The cooperations of both parties wanting their world destroyed. That is it. Most will do whatever it takes to win. This is something we missed. I can go on, but the solution is simple. Start looking at each other again.
they should just make all people in a commercial white. white people wouldn’t care about a controlling white woman throwing a can at a white woman. that would solve everything. just keep all these types of commercials all white. you cant do it all black because people would still bitch about the angry black woman stereo type. i swear black people whine too much. get over yourselves and stop pulling the race card every time you dont like something.
Am not sure my input will help here. I do have strong feelings about black women, and the black family, advertising, etc., but have always hated Pepsi period. Their product, their ads and how they’ve reached for the stars for decades with mixed results. This isn’t the first pepsi ad I’ve seen flop. Being a white male, I also doubt my opinion is useful. However, I have had the privilege and pleasure of knowing many black women so far in life, and only one resembled any stereotype of being angry. My experiences with black women have been wonderful and I’ve not found any negative images such as those portrayed here to hold water. or Pepsi? Anyway the angry female I dated long ago had issues beyond my control and was mourning the death of a loved one, and I did nothing to anger her. Can’t blame females for being angry, but this ad wasn’t funny nor helped. Not useful nor positive to portray folks fleeing the scene of an accident and failing to render any assistance either. White or black also matters little. The plot and product were doomed out the gate. Thanks
Erica you do sound angry actually. A sterotype becomes a sterotype over time and unfortunately in order for us black women to turn this around, we have to stop letting our culture (music, movies, television, real-world examples through crime, drugs and allowing our men – all races to treat us badly) to continue to portray us this way. The commercial didn’t just come out of nowhere – it has relevance and portrays us in a light that we, as a gender in our race, have been allowing ourselves to be portrayed for a long time. Just watch reality TV and see how black women act on those shows. That is the medium by which the largest percentage of our nation views our gender/race. We need to reach out to our black directors, musicians, producers and have them product quality music, movies and TV that portray us in a positive light because this ‘sterotype’ is real because no one in our race/gender has put anything out there to counter-balance it.
Sometimes you have to walk in someone elses shoes, to know what it is like to be judged by your skin color, and not for what you can truly bring to the table, discrimination and stereotyping is a real part of America, past and present. Doesn’t it feel good to know that when ever you walk into a room, people automatically smile at you and show you respect, even if you don’t deserve it, trust me it is a privilege. People are always looking over their shoulders when a black person walks in the room, they expect them to get loud and angry, they themselves become very tense. It is a fact of life not a myth, just notice it when you go into a store next time, and just watch the special attention you get compared to someone who is not white.
I (a white male) note the anger displayed toward Pepsi when none seems to be reserved for the two black actors who starred in the commercial. They didn’t seem to be too offended to take the roles. Exempting them from your harsh comments sent to Pepsi seems pretty racist, too. Relax.
@dragonfly, I agree with you to some extent dragon fly about the way sisters behave in pop culture by allowing themselves to be degraded and mistreated or victimized rather, however wouldn’t you say that those particular mediums are counterbalanced by women like oprah, whoopi goldberg and numerous other famous black women who act like they got some sense? also too, on a lot of those shows we have to realize that anytime there is majority and minority social dynamics at play as in many of these reality shows where the black woman, is the only representative of the color, the minority naturally is made to look as if they are a crazy person….I think dave chappelle had a somewhat hyberpolized grasp of this in his skit about the one white guy in the house with ten black people…
This appears that what they have eluded to is that the PepsiCola Company didn’t engineer the commercial itself, which suggest that the commercial could have been or indeed was submitted by an entity in or outside the black community. However, the truth remains, they did produce it for television knowing that the content was degrading. The principle thing here is that we may not blame Pepsi entirely for the problem because if what they are saying in response is true, then we can’t help but believe that the black community at large has a great deal of work to do about building trust, integrity and support among ourselves so that negative portrayals and images such as this are not only band from public view but from our own minds. If other black women with a strong and inquisitive mind now reading this wants to join in a movement with me to start the soul work necessay to accomplish this task, please contact me at http://firstname.lastname@example.org. we can connect and turn our efforts into a mind blowing profitable and compassionate enterprise…remember the commerical was made for one reason and primarily one reason only…to make money–they see the profits in benefiting from the power of who black women are so its high time that we do too!!! I celebrate you black woman even those who are angry…I believe in you black woman. The flip side of this is pretty powerful although I stronly disagree with portraying black women as being a angry person.
I don’t see how this ad is any different from tons of ads with overbearing women humiliating men. I’ve seen Home Depot commercials with Asians being portrayed that way, Cheerios commercials with whites being portrayed that way ect. Its very “in” to portray men in the role of child and the woman in the role of frustrated parent now.
The only difference in this ad is that the people are indeed black.
Really funny how black women are ‘offended’ by imagery showing them as angry. lol, you are getting angry about this commercial, and verifying the ad’s message.
I an offended also, but for me I see it as an anti male ad which makes it ok to physically assault males.
“husband was eating unhealthily and she wanted him to eat better. She disapproves in a humorous way of all the junk he eats, and when he tries to sneak a soda, generally an unhealthy food, she is ok with it because the soda is more “healthy” or whatever. The man checks out another woman”
but that’s what is so funny about the ad and it does INDEED play into the race angle but I guess the advertisers thought they could play at the edge of the racial tension here. had the jogger been another black woman… it would be possible to see it as innocent. But the point is that the woman is STRIKING her husband when she sees him contemplating something that is BAD for him. So WHAT is he contemplating that is BAD FOR HIM i.e. something he needs to stop wanting like burgers and pie… it’s BAD for him to want ANOTHER woman I guess but the fact that the woman is WHITE is another “unhealthy craving” that she wants him to STOP! And they escape together without helping her because they are shocked out of their internal back and forth about him doing healthier things by the fact that BOTH of them feel the same sort of guilt/disapproval of this “pie”(which is destroyed when she pushes his face into it) or “burger”(which she seizes right out of his hand) that he was about to indulge himself with.
omg not once did i feel like i wanted to go out and buy a pepsi. I saw more of a typical black couple behaving with the stigma that is attached to us, than a soda that should make my taste buds tingle. As far as Im concern, the can was more of a weapon. geeeeez if the consumer knew how much money go into purchasing a spot for a commerical; that would make me angry. what a waste of talent and money and probably a waste of 4 year degrees.
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