Just when you think we’ve hit rock bottom…the bar keeps getting lowered.
I thought it was bad when The Today Show called celiac a new trendy disease.
I thought it was bad when The Today Show said we were picky eaters.
I thought it was bad when Dr. Drew basically put Jennifer Esposito on trial for her celiac disease.
I thought it was bad when Disney aired an episode where they bullied a boy who ate gluten-free.
I thought it was bad when Jimmy Fallon portrayed us as losers.
I thought it was bad when Joy Behar said we were irritating.
And I thought it was bad when a Super Bowl ad was made that called us weak.
But what Party City has done has me floored…jaw hanging on the floor, fists of rage flying through the air kind of floored. First, take a look at this video:
This piece of crap is a current AD on NATIONAL TV that Party City is running. Over 20 people have sent it to me privately today and it’s already raised a serious stir in the community. And who am I not to add a little to the mix.
Let’s do a very quick Dude breakdown of the video:
– Person 1 walks in and comments to person 2 what an amazing spread of food she has. Key takeaway: The food on the table is really, really delicious. So far so good.
– Person 1 points to a small dish of unappetizing crackers on the side and asks what they are. Key takeaway: Whatever they are must be totally lame and don’t even deserve to be on the same table as the ‘real food’.
– Person 2 says “those are some gluten-free options.” Key takeaway: Gluten-free food is limited and what IS available must suck. Cause you know, all we can eat are crackers.
– Person 1 asks “Do we even know people that are like that?” Key takeaway: LIKE THAT? LIKE THAT?? People who are LIKE THAT??? Not people “who must eat like that.” Not people “who have an autoimmune disease.” Not people “who have serious food restrictions and have to eat that way for life.” Nope it’s people like US. Just like all of us in this community.
– Person 2 answers with “Tina?!”. Key takeway: By the tone of her voice, they are inferring that Tina is annoying and high-demand. Again…no disease…just…annoying.
– Person 2 responds “Oh gross…yeah.”
No…she really said that. In response to Tina. Not even in response to the fucking food (well partially I’m sure). But in response to the person who must eat this way to survive. Tina is gross. We are gross.
The commercial has been spreading through our awesome community today. So much so that Party City has removed the video from You Tube (luckily I recorded a copy just in case). And they may have even pulled the ad (yay us). But the damage has already been done as it’s been on the air for some time now. Yes…it’s even on Nickelodeon. A mom with a celiac daughter has seen it three times and both of them are angry and upset. As if bullying kids with food allergies isn’t bad enough, Party City just piles on because…you know…it’s funny.
I’m not gonna go on about this. No words can excuse it. No words can justify it. And no words can be strong enough to vilify Party City. So I say this:
To Party City: F*ck you. Seriously…I’m not wasting any more words on you.
To Hill Holiday: You are the ad agency for Party City. It was your creative genius behind this ad. Let’s get something straight. Gluten-free is not funny. Gluten-free has never been funny. Gluten-free will never be funny. The ONLY way someone with celiac disease can treat their disease is a 100% gluten-free diet. For LIFE. We don’t enjoy the limitations. We don’t enjoy the social awkwardness it can sometimes bring. We don’t enjoy getting sick from the slightest crumb of cross-contamination. And we sure as hell don’t enjoy being made fun of for something that is totally OUT OF OUR CONTROL.
It’s 2018 and I just had to write the above paragraph. What is going on in our society?
To the celiac community: As always, you’ve made your voices heard. But Party City can’t get out of this simply because they deleted a video on YouTube. You know how many levels of approval this had to go through to get produced? They need to be heard in full force today, tomorrow and the next day. And only until we receive a PUBLIC APOLOGY from them should we stop.
Hit em on Facebook and share this page.
Email them and tell them what you think of their ad.
Call them at 800-727-8924 to voice your displeasure.
And hit them where it hurts. Stop shopping there. They don’t want gross customers anyway.
Please tell me this is rock bottom.
(P.S. If you want to tell me this ad is geared toward the fad dieters, just don’t.)
Dude Note 2022: For some reason I decided to revisit this post. It still stuns me this made it on air. 4 years later and we’re still struggling to get the respect our disease deserves.