USA’s Ad Campaign for Its Hacker Drama Mr. Robot Doesn’t Mince Words

Barely hiding its F-bombs

The marketing department at USA Network must have been worried people would think the lead character of its new hacker drama was pro-establishment—because the posters for the show, Mr. Robot, are anything but subtle.

"F*ck Wall St.," "F*ck Social Media, "F*ck Society" and "F*ck the System" reads pretty much the only copy in four blustery ads that can't but evoke FCUK, except that the guy in the images, actor Rami Malek, is wearing the Mark Zuckerberg anti-fashion uniform of a hoodie (even though it turns out Facebook is now, apparently, officially The Man).

USA deserves credit for not mincing words, and speaking truth to power, especially about the whole finance thing, given the sorry state of affairs—parent company NBCU's parent company Comcast has a market cap of only $149 billion. But at least in the trailer, there seems to be some grand Robin Hood caper brewing, toward the mass redistribution of wealth. (If the plebes can't have it in real life, they might as well get it in their fiction.)

It was probably inevitable that someone would make a TV series about a good-looking, bad-boy hacker with a heart of gold, because everyone knows hacking is about being a revolutionary—not about old rich white men transferring their money to young white men who use it to fund fanciful whims that every once in a while turn out to be viable businesses.

But in all seriousness, the show looks like it might actually have some potential—Christian Slater plays some lord of the digital underworld—so long as it doesn't include any mega virus monsters that infiltrate digital air conditioners to release a neuro gas.