Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Oh, Hacienda, You've Done It Again!

Regional restaurant chain Hacienda (that's "house" to you and me) is in hot water yet again for their latest billboard. The ad reads, "The Best Mexican Food This Side Of The Wall," and is obviously a jab at human pumpkin Donald Trump and his insane plan to build a barrier between the U.S. and our neighbor to the South.

Naturally, tons of people here in the no-fun Offended States Of America lost their sh*t and complained bitterly about the billboard, calling it tasteless and offensive.

I'm glad to see all other problems in our nation have been solved, so we can finally focus our efforts on outrage over a goddamned billboard. For the record, I thought the billboard was mildly amusing at best, but I'm not the least bit offended by it. I've got better things to do than try to get a billboard taken down.

Sam Centellas, executive director of La Casa de Amistad (that's the House of Friendship to you and me) was foremost among the whiners, saying, "There's a difference between being funny and being offensive. What I'd love to hear is how do their employees feel and how are they treated in a culture that regularly puts out pretty offensive advertising related to Latino culture?"

Well first of all, Sam, the billboard isn't making fun of Latino culture. It's making fun of the loudmouthed orange homunculus that's pretending to run for president. As for what Hacienda's employees think, they're no doubt far too busy working three jobs in an effort to get by to worry about a message on a billboard.

Hacienda's Executive Vice President Jeff Lesie said, "We don't intend to upset anybody, but we do use humor. When you use humor, there's going to be some groups that are particularly sensitive to certain things."

Supposedly Hacienda caved in to the whiners and promised to remove the billboards around the state. Either they were lying, or they just haven't got to my city yet, because they're still up.

Hacienda is no stranger to advertising controversy. A few years ago they ran this billboard. As you no doubt know, many hospitals use the "code" terminology to alert the staff of an emergency without alarming the public. Code Red means "Emergency." Code Blue means "Cardiac Arrest." And Code Brown means "Patient has soiled themselves, their bed and possibly the walls, bring a mop and bucket." Probably not something you want your clientele to think about while they're eating your highly volatile Mexican food.
Earlier this year they ran this ad, which I assume is a play on "Sh*t Faced." Crude and provocative perhaps, but not offensive.

And then there's this one, which is obviously a reference to the Jonestown Massacre. Yeah, this really happened-- it's not one of my Photoshop fakes. Even I have to admit they went too far with this one. Especially with the little "To Die For" tag, which is like one final little twist of the knife. Jesus Christ! I guess they couldn't think of any Holocaust-related food puns?

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