You Can Keep Your Doritos

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[Comment: Commercials And Media Images]

Recently I saw a commercial that really surprised and amazed and offended me--it was one of those made specifically for the Super Bowl.

It started off with a man carrying a colorful bouquet of flowers who then rings the bell to his date’s residence. She greets him in a spaghetti strap top, mini skirt, and heels.

She then invites her date in and introduces him to her son -- who is around four or five years old-- as though she’s introducing one man to another adult male.

As a single mother this caught my attention. While she walks away, her date is shown in the commercial looking at her in a lustful way as though her son doesn’t exist; the boy drops his game controls because he’s in shock.

The date proceeds to the couch and starts a conversation about the game the boy was playing. What happened next shocked me. When the date picks up a Doritos chip to eat it, the boy slaps his mother’s date in the face, very hard and says: "Keep your hands off my mama; keep your hands off my doritos"

What message is sent when a child slaps an adult in the face, in a commercial or at any time for that matter? Interestingly enough, the adult doesn’t react or respond but faces off with the boy as though he was afraid of this little “man.”

I did some research and learned that this commercial was submitted for a contest “Crash the Superbowl” which was sponsored by Doritos. The creator of this commercial titled “House Rules” was Joelle De Jesús.

While I personally didn’t find this commercial funny and didn’t feel compelled to buy a bag of Doritos, there are some people that feel that it was funny.

I realize that commercials are designed to sell products, and create images in our minds, but I wonder how a child slapping an adult relates to selling Doritos chips. What’s bothersome to me are the messages being conveyed that it’s acceptable for a child to assault an adult without consequences and the African family has no values, respect or structure.

There is a saying that a picture is worth a thousand words and these images speak volumes to the struggles we face in our communities. After reading the comments posted by viewers of the commercial, it’s interesting that some of those people who think it was funny criticized those who read further into this commercial, suggesting that they should "lighten up" and "get a life."

Others felt the commercial was violent, raised points concerning a lack of respect in society and gave painted negative images of the relationship between single mothers and their sons. It was amazing to me how a mother could introduce her young son to her date as though she were introducing two adult males and leave the boy alone in the living room with a stranger.

It’s clear to me that this man has no respect for the little boy or his mother. I also question what kind of respect the mother has for her son judging by her attire?

The media has a nasty habit of painting the African community in a negative light, no matter what our accomplishments are. Humor is always used at our expense because in the minds of people who create these type of images and characterizations the African community is an open field for insults and offenses to be spread around freely.

Doritos along with other advertisers couldn’t care less about the offensive messages they so readily show in their commercials. This is never about respecting human beings but selling products and making a profit.

Dawn Bruce attends Guerrilla Journalism classes in Brooklyn. To register please call (212) 481-7745 or send an e-mail to

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