Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Georges Laraque and Scantily Clad Women

Georges Laraque has apologized for appearing in an advertisement with scantily clad women.

Apparently Laraque rocked up to a commercial shoot and was overwhelmed by the horror of it all. But he went ahead with it anyway. Nobody told him about the details beforehand.

So Laraque is contrite because he upset some people who don't like women wearing skimpy outfits. Here's a person who gets paid good money to break rules in a game. To lay aggravated assaults on opponents (granted, most are willing participants in the fights), to repeatedly drive his picnic-ham-sized fists into other people's faces.

But what's that got to do with anything? It's a bit of a stereotype to assume that what a person does off the ice is indicative of how he will play the game. Still, the kind-of contradictions are kind of amusing. And maybe that's what this is all about.

Just as his opponents are willing participants, no doubt the women in the commercial were willing as well.

There were people who claimed they were offended after the fact, prompting the apology from Laraque.

But there are numerous people offended at the ridiculous nature of what he gets paid to do. Is he going to apologize to them as well?

The Laraque dichotomy—the animal lover, vegan, good natured soul off the ice, and the thug on the ice—makes for great publicity.  People like the whole duality, contrast thing. And no doubt the birds lap it up.

But this whole episode seems somewhat contrived. As with all such manufactured controversies, there is a huge jolt of free advertising for the product that was being flogged. Plenty of indignant media outlets who are giving huge play to the entire absurd melodrama. And it's great exposure for Laraque.

But hey, maybe an ad that had been languishing in obscurity for weeks did suddenly prompt outrage from groups who monitor things like this. And as for the media response, who can blame them? It's got sex, outrage, and a great character in Georges Laraque—things that everyone can get their head around.

1 comment:

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