Open Letter to Sears and Fed Ex
September 27, 2001
With regards to recent events concerning negative publicity
surrounding Bill Maher and some comments he may or may not
have made, both Sears and Fed Ex have made it known that disapproval
would be marked by pulling advertising from the show - perhaps
more out of spite than possible disagreement.
This is of course highly questionable judgement, considering
that the show does have a wide audience, enough to have been
purchased from Comedy Central to be broadcast on ABC. However
if that wasn't enough, doing so is likely to offend consumers
who also watch the show in order to gather a viewpoint from
different perspectives every night that it has been broadcast,
especially when it has prompted ABC to consider removing the
show from its lineup.
That's why I'll be calling for a boycott of both of your
businesses. I may be one person but I also happen to be in
contact either directly or indirectly with a multitude of
people across the Internet.
You see, a boycott is a simple thing to do - just don't purchase
anything that you provide. After all there are plenty of stores
and delivery services out there that are competing for the
very same dollars that you are.
And of course the competition has become a little more intense
as of late. If the bombings recently haven't been enough to
rattle the economy, the economy itself has been slowing down
prior to this event taking place.
Wall Street hasn't seen times this bad since 1933. These
aren't the most financially of secure times and pride can
become an expensive luxury - one that often cannot be afforded
by anyone, especially right now.
So what if someone's pride got hurt? This is the USA after
all, and those who are easily offended by what they hear don't
have to watch what's on TV if he or she doesn't want to, much
less listen to any of it. I admit that I don't always agree
or even like what people have to say on the program. But then
again that's the very reason why I watch it and why I think
everyone else should watch it too.
It isn't hard to argue, however, that those who are easily
offended stay in business for very long. However there is
the issue of Bill Maher's audience being offended by your
actions, especially when the show itself could be cancelled
as a result. The audience consists of many consumers who don't
especially like the fact that private enterprise would infringe
on their right to choose what they want to do in the privacy
of their own homes.
These people would like nothing more or less than an apology
to Bill Maher and just leave him and the networks alone to
choose the programming that best suits their audience. That
just isn't your job at all. In the meantime I'm sending this
out to a few thousand of my closest friends, and that won't
take long. Have a nice day.