In their recent “Hot Shot Bites” commercial, which can be viewed in full at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRH9NBcd33k, Kentucky Fried Chicken depicts an act of domestic violence committed against a man by a woman. The man gives his girlfriend a taste of KFC’s product and asks her how she likes it. She responds by slapping him across the face, as the narrator says that the chicken is so spicy that it’s like a slap to the face. While KFC intends for this to be comical, we at Fathers and Families New York believe that depictions of domestic violence should never be a laughing matter. If the genders were reversed, no one would be laughing, and it should be no different here.
Contrary to popular misconception, domestic violence against men is a serious issue. Numerous studies have shown that men and women are victimized at approximately equal rates. However, male victims are often denied access to services. The public is misled into believing that only women are victims, causing all too many people to view the idea of male victims as a joke. This commercial only serves to perpetuate these dangerous stereotypes. Furthermore, as discussed in a recent video on the Huffington Post, many male victims are in denial of the fact that what they have endured constitutes domestic violence because of societal stereotypes that abuse does not happen to men and therefore do not seek the help that they need. Executives at KFC should think about the effect that their commercial will have on these men, who deserve our help and sympathy. Join us in calling on KFC to pull this ad.