Gluten-free doesn’t just apply to food anymore, with one Super Bowl commercial excluding a joke after it offended some wheat protein crusaders.
Prior to the Super Bowl, an online version of a NASCAR ad for NBC Sports included a joke poking fun at the gluten-free movement which was quickly attacked through an online petition. When a second version of the ad appeared during the game, the joke was not included, but officials for NBC Sports claim that the Super Bowl version was never intended to include the joke and therefore it was not removed or cut as a result of the petition.
“When our idea of danger is eating gluten, there’s trouble afoot,” Nick Offerman said in the commercial, which appears below. “Yes, we the people have gotten soft and all the likes in the world aren’t going to save us now but one thing will and it rhymes with MASCAR.”
Offerman became widely known for playing the television sitcom character Ron Swanson in the show “Parks and Recreation.” In the show, Swanson is an exaggerated libertarian manly man who would often give similar pep talks to other characters.
The gluten-free movement, which has gained popularity in recent years, claims there are vast health benefits from avoiding the common protein, even for people without a gluten intolerance known as Celiacs disease.
“NBC is running a Super Bowl ad that makes fun of those who are gluten-free,” the petition on Change.org declared, adding:
It implies that we’re soft … we’re weak … we’re part of America’s problem. When all we’re trying to do is manage our disease. Celiac can be a true pain. The media is not helping and this petition is get NBC to see the light of day.
However, the ad itself doesn’t actually mentions Celiacs and instead seems to poke fun at the gluten-free movement as whole, which includes those with the disease and those who make the wholly unnecessary dietary choice not to eat gluten.
Though the commercial was comical in nature, the petition argues that far too many people have suffered because of gluten for it to be taken so lightly:
I think about all of the gluten-free children getting bullied for being ‘different’, when all they want to do is feel better and fit in. I think about all of the people who have gotten sick at restaurants because the kitchen and/or the staff do not take us seriously. I think about all of those walking around undiagnosed and suffering because they only listen to what is in the media.
I think about all of the people in the past who have died prematurely when going gluten-free MAY have been their saving grace.
In a prepared statement, an NBC Sports spokesperson noted:
The intent of our creative [sic] was to highlight NASCAR’s return to NBC Sports in 2015 and celebrate the sport’s fun and passionate following. The response has been overwhelmingly positive, but we understand that it is hard to please everyone and apologize to anyone who took offense.
This report, by Connor D. Wolf, was cross-posted by arrangement with the Daily Caller News Foundation.