Monday, April 20, 2009


Can someone please explain to me why Burger King is using Sir Mix-A-Lot's ode to ass to hawk 99-cents SpongeBob kids' meals to the babies? Please?! I mean, damn—I've written before about how I do what I can to keep the BET watching to a minimum; when the remote does slip and fall on the channel that seems to serve up all ass, all day (except on the Lawd's day, of course), I do my best to turn hyper-sexualized, misogynistic music and videos into teachable moments.

But how, exactly, do I escape the madness when women are popping their booties to a catchy burger beat while SpongeBob gets his boogie on in the background? Not in the middle of the night, but after school and during prime time, when my kids are watching? Oh, Mari and Lila get a good giggle when they catch this commercial on TV, which is way too often; they snicker and sniggle like they've just caught sight of something awfully naughty. Trust: My girls know there's something just plain wrong about a commercial that pairs their beloved SpongeBob with a blinged-out "king" waltzing across the TV, measuring women's behinds. And, er um, they're 6 and 9.

Really, Burger King? Nickelodeon? For real, for real? Were there any moms in the room when you all decided this was appropriate fare for children? Any daddies? Anyone who knows firsthand the devastation both fast food and misogynistic music have wreaked on American children in general, and brown babies in particular?

Now, I know there are a lot of other battles we need to focus our energy on—the economy is still in the toilet, Iran is testing missiles and jailing journalists, Afghanistan just passed a law saying that women have to wear make-up and have sex if their husbands demand it, and, have mercy, Octomom still has all 14 of her kids. But as a mom looking to raise healthy, smart, confident little girls who can be comfortable in the skin—and bodies—they're in without pimping them out for commercial purposes, I think I can take 10 minutes today to tell Burger King and Nickelodeon to get a clue.

The New Agenda, a non-partisan group for women's rights, is encouraging moms (and everyone else who actually cares about young minds and thinks the Burger King ad is a hot mess) to speak up and out until the commercials are pulled from the airwaves:

Take Action:

1) Write or call Burger King corporate headquarters. Tell them that unless women are not people, this commercial violates their Corporate Social Responsibility Mission Statement: Fundamental respect for all people, and our planet, guides our corporate conscience. Tell them you will not visit their restaurants until they withdraw the ad.

Burger King Corporation
5505 Blue Lagoon Dr.
Miami, FL 33126
Consumer Relations (305) 378-3535 Staffed M-F, 9am–5pm EST
Email Investor Relations at

2) Write or call Nickelodeon, which bills itself as “the only network that puts kids first.” Tell them that to profit by teaching children to objectify women is wrong, and that you will purchase no more SpongeBob merchandise until the offensive ad stops running.

1515 Broadway
New York, NY 10036
(212) 258-6000

3) Forward this action alert to a friend.

Don't have time to write a letter or make a call? Simply hop on over to the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood and sign their online petition. It'll take two seconds. I'm going to sign mine with my kids when they get home from school today.

You might consider doing the same.

post signature


  1. I was appalled when I say this commercial. I was sitting with my kids watching with what I consider age appropriate TV when this came on. I could not jump to the remote fast enough.

    Thanks for the addresses. I will have two letters sent out in today's mail!!!

  2. To email Viacom ( owners of Nickelodian)

  3. @Spillar: Thanks, girl! Happy writing... go get 'em.

  4. I am sending an email because I saw this commercial and thought I was in the Twilight Zone or something! That's some B*$@)hit!! Sex to sell a kid's meal is really low. Good post btw! I will email to a few of my friends and family.

  5. We don't watch televison that much anymore, so I haven't seen the commercial yet. This is so sad. People will do anything to make a buck. Let me go sign the petition.

    Hugs and Mocha,

  6. yes this commercial is horrible. And to hear my kid say the tagline, i was outdone!! thanks for the addresses!!

  7. I am writing as well!! I couldn't believe this!

  8. the commercial is horrible, but spongebob is a character I'm not too fond of anyway, sometimes the cartoon is borderline being appropriate for children....from the beginning I took issue with a sponge who frequently walks around in his underwear.

  9. I remember seeing this video and just sat there with a blank look for a while. I couldn't believe it. I didn't know if that just happened and then I realized it was for a happy meal. I said this commercial won't last. Then I saw it again. I just understand what made them think this was cute, funny, appropriate or whatever to grasp kids attention.

  10. I absolutely agree! When I first saw it, I was shocked. At first, I really could not believe it was burger king. Then I thought, what does shaking square behinds have to do with food and, worst of all, food for kids?!!! I will definitely contact these folks!

  11. I'll admit I laughed a few seconds into the commercial (I'm a sucker for that song), but then I quit once I realized it was for a kids' meal and there was ol' SpongeBob...Not cool at all. Someone obviously wasn't thinking....

  12. I called and left a message for which I'm sure I will not get a response. I will call again. In the message I did explain how inappropriate it was to shake rear ends, boxed or otherwise, in a child's meal commercial.

    Hopefully, I will get a response.

  13. I have yet to see the commercial. My daughter who is four was doing quite a bit of tail shaking and my husband informed that they had seen the commercial. Of course, we let her know it is not appropriate and there are better ways to dance. Why should we have to struggle with such things when we don't purposeful show her this type of behavior. Your post was great.

  14. Meh, my moral compass wants to point to "offended" but it makes me laugh every time I see it. I'll try to remember to ask my kids what they think of it.

  15. If my husband thinks the commercial is wrong, then it's definitely bad! Thanks for the links, I signed the petition.


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