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Following in the footsteps of a banned Super Bowl advertisement, animal-rights activism group PETA is courting controversy again with a new clip entitled “Boyfriend Went Vegan.”
In the 30-second clip, a young woman wearing a neck brace and no pants limps to her apartment while voiceover dialogue diagnoses her “affliction.” “This is Jessica,” narrator says. “She suffers from ‘BWVAKTBOOM,’ ‘Boyfriend Went Vegan and Knocked the Bottom Out of Me,’ a painful condition that occurs when boyfriends go vegan and can suddenly bring it like a tantric porn star.” As she returns to the apartment, she throws a bag of vegetables to her boyfriend and then disrobes, smiling as she approaches him.
The clip isn’t the first in which PETA (People For the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has used unconventional means to connect with audiences. The group’s anti-milk Super Bowl ad, which was banned from airing, featured a group of young women pulling off their shirts to reveal not their breasts, but udders.
Despite criticisms that the “Boyfriend Went Vegan” ad came close to portraying domestic abuse, Lisa Lange, a senior vice president for PETA, told Yahoo News that the clip is meant to be humorous. “The piece is tongue-in-cheek,” she said. “People who watch the ad all the way through see the woman has a mischievous smile. She’s happy to go back with him. It’s playful.” Given the subtlety of her pleased reaction, some viewers may miss her “happiness to go back with him.” Additionally, with stories like Chris Brown’s assault on Rihanna continuing to dominate media coverage of events like Sunday’s Grammy ceremony, many may object to even a humorous depiction of a woman being abused.
Check out the clip below. What do you think of the ad? Is it funny, or does it go too far?
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