Sunday, January 20, 2013

My Abhorrence For Progressive Flo

Dear Progressive Flo:

I am writing to tell you that although your commercials are generally the bane of my existence, I really HATE your new effort. To me, a person who rarely complains about things that are racially insensitive (or any kind of insensitivity, really), this commercial seems way too reminiscent of the stereotypes that ran rampant in the 1920s, 30s... 40s. It starts off with an overweight woman demanding to see Flo about something that she gave to her husband and ends with a Black man acting like a fool. Oh, sigh... Flo, Flo, my sweet, annoying, ignorant Flo- even I, with my general lack of emotions, can see the resemblance between this "customer" and a mammy; and her husband as a Sambo. Even me.

Now look, I realize that since you are generally annoying the pants off of people, 60 seconds at a time, that it may not have crossed your little mind that this commercial could, you know, be offensive, but trust me, it is. This "commercial" happens to look more like a minstrel show than an ad for insurance. Let's look at this lady in your commercial. You know, for some comparison, Flo. This overweight, wide eyed woman comes into Progressive, looking for an explanation for her husband's seemingly incomprehensible ability to handle every day situations. You, Flo, calmly explain that you gave him the answer to all of his insurance problems, but there is a warning-- the "power" that you have given him can go to one's head. Then, the Black woman strikes that ever familiar pose (shaking head, hands on hips) and you cut away to her husband thinking he can conquer juggling chainsaws. Hmmm. The name of this work of art is 'Empowered' when really, it should be named "Let's try to pass this off and see how many Black people actually know that they are being made fun of."

Your "new" shit:


Some "old" shit:


Oh Flo, I can't be the only one that has noticed that really the only thing missing from this interaction with this woman is a dance move, or a musical number while she cooks dinner. But, I am helpful so here, let me give you (and your people at Progressive) a clue: not all Black women sing and dance, shake their heads, point their fingers and put their hands firmly on ample hips. Not all Black men act a fool after a white person solves a problem for them. No one wants to buy insurance from a shrill woman, like yourself. Even though Progressive is an Ohio company I, as an Ohioan, would be more likely to eat at Chik-Fil-A than buy your product (and I plan to NEVER eat at Chik-Fil-A). For the life of me, I just can't believe that no one has said this before... Oh wait... I'm not the first person to point out your insensitivity. You might want to look into that.

 Sincerely,

 Tired of Your Shit

 

16 comments:

Robert said...

I hate this commercial too and agree with your comments...

On a less serious note, apart from your social commentary, I would note that that I detest the obnoxious Flo character in general .

And as far as this specific commercial is concerned, the woman with the attitude comes in, all emotionally charged, asking where Flo is and then spotting her and asking whether, in fact, our "heroine" is in fact Flo.

When Flo confirms her own identity, the overwrought visitor questions Flo as to whether she, Flo, was the person who gave some item to the inquirer's husband...and Flo responds "why, sure."

So if the emotionally overwhelmed visitor did not know who Flo was prior to the time she, the visitor, entered the store, how could Flo have even known the identity of this woman's husband, let alone the marital status between thie mystery "husband" and the irate stranger ?

Miss Mox said...

Thank you for your comment! I have to say-- Flo and her commercials have gotten even worse. Now when they come on I just leave the room or turn the channel.

In response to your question: of course Flo knew exactly who the woman with the attitude was-- she had probably only helped one hapless man that day… process of elimination.

it is a shame, really. Commercials like that only serve to perpetuate the stereotypes of Black people. And some people don't even notice. Glad you did! :)

Anonymous said...

I was ecstatic to see someone else felt the same way that I do about that commercial. Thank you for your excellent post - you are an intelligent young women. I find it interesting that the black community doesn't holds actresses like the mammy in that commercial responsible for their disgusting portrays of black women for money. Other TV commercial mammies include the woman from the Popeye's and the women who does Pine Sol.

NewarkOne said...

I posted on Facebook about these commercials before reading your post,I am glad we are not alone in our resentment of these racist commercials.
Rev. Jordan

ifuknew said...

Wow, I thought it was only me. I didn't put race to it at first.
First I thought who talks like that to a salesperson, then immediately after it hit me....
Progressive wanted America to think that all black women talked and behaved like this lady. It is disgusting. I am sure the woman who plays this role is thinking of her family and she probably needs the money to provide for them. So I don't blame her, I blame the CEO of Progressive. How can we contact him/her?

ifuknew said...
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ifuknew said...
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Johnny Martinez said...

Wow you people are retarded. I have dealt with real racism and stereotype when i lived in rural florida. This commercial is nothing of the sort. You're reading to much into this and you know what, I love the way she is portrayed and the husband. If you want to shine light on a take up a racist and degrading business. why not focus your attentions on the rap/music industry which vilifies women and portrays our people like common thugs and drug dealers.

Johnny Martinez said...

I see you love to censor comments you don't agree with. Classic case of self righteous snob that loves to criticize but can't take any.

Miss Mox said...

First thing first, dude- I didn't censor anything- the author of the original comments did, so miss me with that bullshit. Number two- I hardly listen to rap and you would know that if you actually read my blog-- so since I am not voluntarily exposing myself to that, I don't comment in it. Number three- uh, last I checked this is my fucking blog so if you don't like what I write or want to complain about something-- start your own shit. You don't have to agree with what I say... But you will NOT get in here and degrade others or call us retarded. My experience is not your experience.
Essentially, fucker, don't kill my vibe on a Friday night. Signed, this snobby bitch right here...

albert speer said...

shut the fuck up and moaning !

Miss Mox said...

Bitch, YOU shut the fuck up. Clearly, if you don't get it, I wasn't talking talking to your punk ass.

And damn near three years later!? Fucker, catch up or shut up. How about that?! GTFOH.

C. King said...

You know Flo doesn't write these ads right?

Miss Mox said...

Yes, I am aware.

Anonymous said...

Bitch YOU SHUT YOUR BLACK NIGGER ASS UP! DA HELL? DA FUCK IS WRONG WIT YOU? BLACK ASS BITCH, WHAT THE FUCK? DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA FFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUCCCCCCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKKKK??????????????????????????????

Miss Mox said...

^^^ Real winner... and an anonymous poster too? Grow some balls before you leave shitty comments. You could at leave your name so I can personalize the small dick joke I'm going to hit your punk ass with. Grow up.

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