UPDATE: Party City succumbed to the pressure and had this ad removed from every corner of the Internet.

The Super Bowl is coming soon, so advertisers strike while things are hot. Except this Party City Super Bowl ad landed cold on people who have food allergies. The ad shows two ladies standing back admiring a Super Bowl party spread. But off to the side (or marginalized if you will, we should use the word marginalized for heightened emotion) resting on a stool is a single plate of bland looking crackers.

"What is that?" asks one woman.
"Those are some gluten-free options."
"Do we even know people that are like that?"
"Tina."
"Oh, gross, yeah."

That's all it took for people with celiac disease and those with certain food allergies to hit up social media blasting Party City. Outrage was quickly expressed. A boycott was threatened. Party City has 800 stores nationwide with 27 here in Jersey.

Can we as a nation consider getting a grip? We are on this runaway path in search of utopia where no feeling is ever hurt and no joke is ever safe. Can there be insensitive idiots in the world? Absolutely. But it is up to us as a society to start being more selective in what we assume the fetal position over.

Bill Doyle, my broadcast partner of many years has a son who has suffered food allergies and early on he had to be on a gluten-free diet. One of the foods he ate all the time was gluten-free pretzels. Bill tried them and has mentioned more than once how awful he thought they tasted. Things with his son changed and he was eventually able to have regular pretzels but didn't like them. Bill would lovingly tease his son about his bad tasting gluten-free pretzels. Is anyone going to accuse Bill of being anything other than a caring, affectionate dad?

If we are this afraid of sparking even the slightest insensitivity we might as well pass a federal law banning humor, comedy and all social interaction. Only then will we be safe.

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