Love hurts. Sometimes it stinks. Lots of folks have been holding their noses this week, thanks to a relationship-themed spot from PETA that seems to make light of violent sexual abuse as it promotes vegan lifestyles. Released on Valentine's Day, the clip shows a young woman wearing a neck brace, limping home with a bag of produce in her arms. It turns out she's suffering from BWVAKTBOOM, aka "Boyfriend Went Vegan and Knocked the Bottom Out of Me." Seems her injuries are from too-energetic sex. Apparently, sucking on celery allows her skinny-dweeb partner to "bring it like a tantric porn star," leaving her in pain. The debate over this spot has followed the predictable pattern. Complaints roll in, and the group claims its efforts were intended to be tongue in cheek, not meant to offend. The ad's soaring toward 2 million YouTube views in less than three days (though dislikes are beating likes by more than a 2-to-1 margin), and there's been the usual surge in media coverage. I don't mind the basic concept, but the execution suffers because the woman appears victimized while her boyfriend's uninjured and rarin' to go. A PETA mouthpiece told the Daily News, "She’s coming back from the grocery store with an armful of vegetables because she enjoyed it so much." Maybe if the boyfriend was in traction as a result of their hyperactive, mutually enjoyable antics, and the couple shared a lascivious smile at the end, that idea would've been more clearly communicated. Also, the "knocked the bottom out of me" line, no doubt intended as wink-wink sly, comes off as crass, fueling criticisms that with this particular effort, PETA may have hit rock bottom. Personally, I think they can sink lower still.
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