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How About Eggno(t)?


Retail giant Bloomingdale’s 2015 Christmas Catalog seemed to miss the mark with an ad which caused mass outrage for its allusions to date rape. The picture, shown below, was intended to give a lighthearted approach to a holiday party but the text “Spike your best friend’s eggnog when they’re not looking” created a hullabaloo online and in person at several Bloomingdale’s stores.

Source: USA Today

The backlash online was swift and unyielding:

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In response to the backlash, Bloomingdale’s released a short statement apologizing for its oversight.

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Many people called for Bloomingdale’s to donate a large sum to the victims of date rape and other forms of sexual violence to which Bloomingdale’s did not respond.

Several questions come into play when looking at a case such as this. Was the public simply grasping for straws when getting upset at the ad? After all, it is unlikely that Bloomingdale’s actively advertises a date rape culture. Does this ad take on a new meaning, 2 and a half years later, in the face of the MeToo movement? Was Bloomingdale’s response adequate? If not what could they have done instead?




The Push, a social experiment or a social nightmare

The Push is a show being advertised as “Only on Netflix,” although it was previously aired two years ago, just not in the US. It is directed by Derren Brown, a psychological illusionist who continually questions the boundaries of human mentality, by placing typical people into extreme situations.  The Push seeks to answer the question, “Can even the most moral people be made to commit horrendous acts, simply by shifting the message of what’s normal?” The film has one man that is unaware he is being filmed with the rest being actors. The objective is to place the man into a position that he feels the only way to escape the situation is by committing murder.

You can find the official trailer for The Push at:

Other shows by Brown have placed people in the decision of taking control of a Boeing 737 at 500mph, tricking participants at a “motivational seminar” into robbing a security van in broad daylight and other controversial shows related to psychological manipulation.

Discussion around Netflix airing The Push vary from the ethics of placing individuals in such an extreme psychological position to the content and the way it is being delivered by Netflix. There is both backlash and excitement over Brown’s Netflix show, while some people stand on the fence of it being ethically wrong, yet are intrigued.

Comments have noted and made clear they are not impressed with Netflix advertising the show as only on Netflix as well as including why some people choose Netflix over other ways of viewing shows.

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Untitled 13.jpegThere are those that are thrilled with The Push being aired, while others see it as distasteful. Some question how scripted the show is, noting that all participants have to sign voluntary consent forms, even if they do not know the entire story line.

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Although Browns work is typically controversial, has he crossed a line with this film? Is it common knowledge that people can be manipulated into anything, murder included? Is this purely to make money at somebody’s expense, or does this have a true educational purpose? Should Netflix advertise shows as only on Netflix if they have aired in the past? Does it make a difference that this has aired before elsewhere? Is the media ethically responsible for the content that has desensitized citizens?