You’d think people working in PR would have learnt their lesson – that they couldn’t get any dumber. After numerous botched (and arguably creatively-devoid) campaigns to make the paper in recent times, including dead butterflies, dead birds, and a bomb-scare caused by a PR company which delivered a ‘ticking bomb’ to its target audience, maybe a bit of care would be exercised.
But clearly that’s not the case.
On a day when Facebook profiles and news portals around the globe are filled with images of protests calling for an end to Israel’s bombardment of Palestine, Masterchef Australia, produced by Shine Australia, has released promotional material announcing the addition of British guru Heston to its team.
Only problem is, Heston is wearing an IDF combat jacket, as illustrated below.
Did you hire your media intern from a McDonalds queue?
Are the monitors in your media department switched on?
Do you have a media department?
Are you aware that the world extends beyond Australia’s borders?
Are you aware that the head of your wardrobe department might be using your program as a platform for their political beliefs?
Do you check material being sent out, or does the intern handle that?
And – was Heston double checked for military hardware before being allowed near an open flame?
Seriously though, this is ridiculous. Chances are this is a ‘wardrobe malfunction’, but when it happens on Australia’s leading fast-food-for-the-brain TV show, at the risk of offending thousands who are distraught at the thought of their relatives being killed by an oppressive regime, with very real ties to Australia’s military hardware manufacturing body (more on that later…), well, it just makes you look DUMB.
And in this day and age, there ain’t no excuse for that.
I am aware that the style of jacket Heston wears is not identical to that worn by the soldier. But given the colour (which I believe is identical?), its placement over a white t-shirt, and the photo’s proximity to the countless others depicting worldwide protests against Israel’s bombardment of Palestine, I would have thought it would be pretty obvious that an image like the one below might send out the wrong message.
I for one saw it and straight away thought ‘fuck! There’s a fuck-up!’
Of course, I might just be oversensitive to being sensitive to things that involve people being blown apart. My bad.
I’d also like to add that I don’t know enough about the Israel / Palestine story to form a solid opinion – I know people from both sides of the fence (literally, sadly…), and I’m sure for every experience, there is a different point of view.
But if the situation there is anything like other democracies past and present, Australia included, then I’m guessing a privileged (and likely deranged) few are acting on behalf of a cause and a population they no longer represent, resulting in the loss of lives. So, inexcusable behaviour from both sides, and no doubt from foreign powers who are part of the mix – Australia included (we make weapons for Israel).
If it were up to me, we’d be working with both Palestine and Israel to develop sustainable energy production, public transport, and food generation, but I’m whacko!