I’ll admit that I cringe a little every time I see a black person on TV enjoying a piece of fried chicken. Of course I know that I shouldn’t, but I also know that stereotypes are alive and well in this world, and new ones are be created as you read this. In addition I know that plenty of white folk love them some fried chicken. Look at Justin Timberlake. Hell the Colonel himself is a white dude! Still, after every KFC commercial I see featuring black people I’m left wondering about the “black jokes” that these images still evoke. I personally can’t recall ever being offended by their ads, which overall seem fine to me. However, the other night a new KFC commercial featuring a black family left me pondering another stereotype.
Sitting around a small table munching on some good ol’ fried chicken was a mother and her three adorable kids. No dad. I caught the commercial again last night, tried to count the chairs around the table and only came up with four. “Where’s daddy’s chair,” I asked out loud to no one in particular. This prompted me to go to You Tube to see if the ad was posted. It wasn’t, but I found a pretty strange commercial from 1980 starring the “perfect” black family. There were even a few others on the website that I remembered from my youth. All the commercials were OK as far as advertising goes (aside from the fact the the black family was really concerned about the price of fast food).
All this intense research and analysis made me wonder where dad was. Maybe he was doing a double shift at the office. Maybe he was in the living room watching football with a bucket of original recipe in his lap. Perhaps he died from prostate cancer. Or was just stuck in traffic. Or maybe the doting dad was Christmas shopping. Or maybe, just maybe, this commercial is a deep fried sign of the times.