Monday, December 3, 2007

Happy Mammys and Funny Chimps

Barely a week goes by without someone posting something to one of the primate email lists about some ad agency or similarly unenlightened ignoramous using monkeys or chimpanzees in advertising in ways that reinforce the idea that they are mere things to be used, to be laughted at, to be discounted.

Here're a couple of examples of what people find so distasteful:

Stereotyping is partularly distatesteful when it done to demean or meant to communicate a belittling caricature as in this typical image of the happy "mammy."

It's natural to assume that any organization using such imagery must be ignorant of the realities behind the scenes of animal use in entertainment, the difficulties in establishing even a modicum of societal concern for them, the power of demeaning imagery, or else they must be be so callous as to simply not care at all how their advertising decisions might affect others.

I wonder which group the American Association for the Advancement of Science fits into:

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