NASCAR’s new Super Bowl ad starring Nick Offerman hit the web just a few days ago, but it already has some folks in a tizzy à la the controversial GoDaddy puppy commercial. Over 16,000 people have signed a Change.org petition requesting that the racing company ditch the clip because of one particular line that pokes fun at gluten-free diets.
“When our idea of danger is eating gluten, there’s trouble afoot,” Offerman is seen saying in his typical commanding voice, a large American flag on display behind him. “Yes, we the people have gotten soft.”
According to “Gluten Dude”, the person behind the Change.org appeal, the ad is offensive to those who suffer from Celiac disease, a disorder in which the ingestion of gluten causes damage to the lining of the small intestine. Per the petition page:
It [the ad] implies that we’re soft…we’re weak…we’re part of America’s problem. When all we’re trying to do is manage our disease. Celiac can be a true pain.
I think about all of the gluten-free children getting bullied for being “different”, when all they want to do is feel better and fit in. I think about all of the people who have gotten sick at restaurants because the kitchen and/or the staff do not take us seriously. I think about all of those walking around undiagnosed and suffering because they only listen to what is in the media. I think about all of the people in the past who have died prematurely when going gluten-free MAY have been their saving grace.
In an interesting turn of events, an NBC Sports rep has since spoken up and clarified that the 60-second NASCAR ad that will be aired during the Super Bowl will not feature the contentious gluten-free comment — only the online version will retain that line. Still, it seems “Gluten Dude” and his Change.org cohort are still going strong.