About the Steve O Zone

Friday, September 24, 2010

Utah State Fair Board Dump Ads Amidst Charges of Racism

Many moons ago, my work schedule called for me to visit the great state of Utah quite often, specifically the beautiful town of Logan, Utah - home of Utah State University among other things.

Spent some time in Salt Lake City as well. All in all, I met some very nice, hospitable folks during my time in Utah.

Just giving you a little back story as I deftly segue into my post on something that's more than a little troubling.

The Utah State Fair Board was in the market to create some ads (TV & Radio) for its forthcoming Utah State Fair. They decided to hire Napoleon Dynamite director Jared Hess to create the spots.

Hess created and produced the following spots...The ads were selected by the State Fair staff, but weren’t previewed by the board.

When the board did see the ads, they were none too thrilled.

“It did not adequately represent the image of the State Fair,” complained board vice chairman Roger Beattie. “We all have a visceral reaction to [the spots]. There were a number of board members who thought it was a little too edgy and a little too provocative.”

The ads were summarily pulled from the airwaves... the TV airwaves that is.

Seems the radio spots DID adequately represent the image of the State Fair as they were not pulled even though they (the Radio spots) used the exact same audio as the TV spots.


“It’s very strange,” said Hess. “The spots celebrate the iconic things you can only find at the State Fair. I can’t help but think that the main actor being African-American is the reason they pulled them — which is very disturbing.”

Disturbing indeed when you consider these spots, which ran last year and ironically featured Napoleon Dynamite star Jon Heder, were not pulled from the airwaves...

Double hmmmmm....

Til next time,


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