Good point!

Apple Cider Mage has this observation about the new Chuck Norris commercial.

Last night, Blizzard debuted another one of their celebrity ad spots during a football game. It featured Chuck Norris, of eponymous joke fame, with a fairly annoying and offensive Asian stereotype voice-over, running around beating people up as a melee hunter. Funny, right?

Eh, maybe not as funny as I imagined. Why is that, you ask? Probably because Chuck Norris has publically gone on record espousing many views that are fairly bigoted. Like that schools should feature a more conservative agenda, Day of Silence shouldn’t be held, and other such fun ideas like how he dislikes Roe vs. Wade. The fact that these links from his own blog and various websites go back a couple years shows a progression of ideas that he is free to express, but are not exactly friendly towards a particular segment of the possible World of Warcraft population.

The first comment on that post accuses her of, basically, being oversensitive to the issue. I don’t agree.


Let’s set the wayback machine to Blizzcon.  Didn’t we just go through the same exact thing?  The only difference that I can see right now is that the leading lights of Blizzard weren’t onstage humping his leg like they were with "Corpsegrinder".

Yes, I totally went there and compared Chuck Norris with some obscure bunch of punks wearing black lip gloss, eye liner, and bicycle chains.  And it felt good.

I’m a little hesitant to just jump on that bus, though, because I have such a strong personal dislike for Chuck Norris.  The dark, seething hatred I feel for his opinions is unmatched by anything short of my loathing for the song Sunglasses At Night. So, I feel I have a bit of baggage, a bias of sorts, and felt that maybe that colored my impression of anything that has his name attached. 

And yet, I will happily participate in a round of Chuck Norris jokes because, really, that Chuck Norris has become a punch line, rather than an actual person. A mental bias, if you will, that allows me to sleep at night. ((Fortunately, Yetimus has become the de facto stand in for Chuck Norris, so things have improved in that regard.))

But I digress. The upshot is; Chuck Norris is a gay-bashing walking talking hate machine that happens to have gained a following by virtue of wrapping himself in a flag and appealing to the baser urges of his audience, which is exactly the same as Corpsegrinder minus the popularity, flag, and hygiene.

Listen, Blizz, I understand you just wanna have a little fun with our in-game culture and find crossovers with the greater popular culture landscape to exploit. I dig that.  But if you’re wanting to retain the business of the LGBT-friendly WoW community, which is quite sizable, you have to pull your collective heads out of your asses and vet your spokespersons.  I mean it.  Don’t make me pull this blog over.

I’m just waiting for Samwise to bleat "but it was all in fun, guyyyys!"

Party on, Wayne.


Posted on November 22, 2011, in Blizzard, Blogosphere, Geek culture. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. So here is my deal on the Chuck Norris thing.

    On the intolerance front it seems like Blizzard just don’t give an eff about it. They’ll pay lip service as much as they have to, but won’t stake out a claim on the righteousness of the LGBT issues because they have to balance out the power of the Wal Mart shopper versus the power of the LGBT community. Or more accurately the amount of the LGBT who will make an economic decision based on the company’s actions or inaction. And in the end Blizzard is about the money. So if bringing Crazy Chuck Norris in to sell the game ships more units or keeps subs up, then they would do that. If a Lady Gaga ad did the same thing they would do that.

    On the Chuck Norris ad in specific. It feels to me like it the nuking the fridge moment. Yes Chuck Norris facts were funny in 2006. But at some point he got in on the joke after reluctantly dismissing them. Now we are almost 6 years after they peaked on Google Trends and he is here to get a paycheck. And Blizzard not sure how to keep people enthused for the game finally lands something that would have been gangbuster 4 years ago. When you look at the merits of the I am (celebrity) and I am a (class) ads the William Shatner and Mr. T ones were the best. They were early adopters willing to look in the camera and shill for something neither of them probably understood fully, and did it with charm. This ad while funny is funny in the way watching reruns of those 1960s variety shows like Sonny and Cher or Smother’s Brothers are funny. Yeah you see the joke coming, you laugh but you aren’t challenged in any way shape or form.

    So for me the ad is a disappointment two fold. One on the speaker and two on the merits of the ad itself.


    • You give The Shat and Mr. T far more credit than I did back then – at some point a celebrity pushes through the envelope of actual celebrity to become a self-parody, and that’s how I saw those two ads (as well as the Ozzy one). Shatner has especially made a career out of making fun of himself, it seems (see the commentary for “Free Enterprise”). So, in that respect, taking Norris in anyway serious wasn’t an option no matter what his beliefs.

      But yeah, that does bear a resemblance to a chunk of cheese they found in the back of the fridge, served up with fresh fruit and enough wine so that nobody really cares if it was last year’s cheese.


  2. Hey. Don’t sweat the small stuff. It can all be sorted by a handshake at the end of the match. Wasn’t that what the FIFA guy said. Huh! Nope. +1 Grimmtooth


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