Uncle Pete


There are six actors in the 30-second Time Warner Cable ad clip, all black and all apparently related.  The mother, father, their two juvenile kids, “Uncle Pete” and an older woman who appears as an image on a computer tablet.


Uncle Pete is babysitting what appear to be two adolescent brothers; both under ten years old.  The ad opens as the mother and father are leaving their home and as they close the front door, the last words from the mother are, “Behave for Uncle Pete.”  The boys sit in silence on the couch for 2 seconds and then all hell breaks loose as the boys start screaming, yelling and assaulting Uncle Pete with pillows and cushions to the point of feathers flying, running all over the furniture and climbing all over Uncle Pete.  One boy strikes Pete several times with what appears to be a cane or staff, hitting him in the face, head and torso as he straddles the mans neck.  The other boy throws a ball at Pete’s head and later is seen crawling over his shoulder and kicking at his head.


As Pete is scrambling to find something, anything to calm these two kids, the older woman appears on a computer tablet screen image and through a smiling face asks Pete, “Are you having fun?”  This is all happening as Pete is being struck on his head while one of the boys straddles his neck and the other pulls at him from the side.


Finally, Pete timidly approaches each boy with a computer tablet in each hand.  The boys go silent and quickly become absorbed in the tablets video content as they sit quietly on the couch and Uncle Pete bows his head and signs in relief as the onslaught is stopped.


Attached is a YouTube video link.  Take a quick look at this ad.




This bothers me and on so many levels I don’t know where to begin.


Are mom and dad really that clueless as to not know their out-of-control brat kids would beat up on Uncle Pete?  If they really didn’t know, they’re incompetent parents and if they did know, well, again, incompetent parents.  The older woman on the tablet seems to take delight in the situation, smiling with pride.  Really?  This is OK behavior?  “Are you having fun?”, seriously?  So unless you are armed with tablets and cool video content, it’s apparently alright for brat kids to assault adults in order to get their devices.  Does anyone else see a racial component here?   If all of the actors were white, would the message be relevant?  Would it resonate, be believable, or is it OK in the black community to tolerate assault, chaos and meyhem?


Maybe Time Warner has stumbled onto the solution for the race wars that are coming to our country.  The next time there is a riot with arson and looting in places like Milwaukee, Ferguson and Baltimore, handout tablet computers and then everyone can just get along.



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