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Thursday, April 7, 2016

A Uniquely Unusual Commercial.

They've got this commercial running in the Chicago area.
Maybe it's even running nationally.
It's for elderly people.
For a knee brace.
The manufacturer isn't even mentioned.
There's just a phone number.
The commercial is done in animation.
There's a little black child, and her much older black grandmother.
Here's the dialogue:

Ellie: Grandma, can you come put and play?
Grandma: Sure, Ellie, oh my, you might want to c'mere and help Grandma.
Ellie: What's the matter, Grandma, can you stand?
Grandma: Oh, sorry honey, it's ma' knees.
They just don't work the way they used to.

Then, there's the pitch for the knee brace.
Grandma's gotten the knee brace And now, she's roller blading down the street at about seventy miles an hour.
Ellie: Grandma, slow down! I can't keep up.
Grandma: Maybe you can use a knee brace too, Ellie.
Catch me if you can, kiddo!

Okay. I have no idea how well this knee brace really works, and we're only dealing with animation.
But here's the kicker, folks.
Several weeks into the running of this commercial, the same commercial is run, only now, Ellie and Grandma are white.
The same commercial, the same voiceovers, only now they're white.
I guess somebody figured out that they are omitting a major market share by being black to begin with.
Now they seem to randomly show the black version and the white version.
Is this racist?
I don't know.
All I know is that I've never seen anything like it.


My books, "Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
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Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
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I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one.
If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at

And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.



  1. Maybe it's because I watch more TV than you do ...

    I saw the white version first.

    When the black version turned up, I thought nothing of it. Stuff like this has been happening in broadcast advertising for years now.

    It usually depends on which show the ad is placed in. Demographics, you know.

    I'm keeping an eye out for a Spanish-language version, which I probably won't see because I don't speak Spanish.

    This being Chicago, I wouldn't be surprised if there's a Polish-language spot out there.

    Chicago's ad agencies are very conscious of these things; if you've ever seen the Briskman brothers's ads for their accident law firm, their Spanish spot will floor you.

  2. National ad. Seen it in NY.

  3. Yeah, I've seen both versions and they are quite rediculous. The old woman's voice sounds like a younger woman, trying to sound older. Very fake-sounding. also the animation is pretty primitive. There is very little movement. When they show the grandma's or the little girls's head, all you see is the mouth moving - that's it! It is funny that these two characters are supposed to be talking to each other, but you never even see them together in the same shot, even when the grandma is rollerblading. and as for the action shot of the rollerblading, the grandma figure doesn't even move. the "animator" tries to simulate movement by making the background recede, and it is very badly done. On the whole, this is a real crap production.

    1. I agree with the younger voice... Every time I see it I swear it's Aisha Tyler (Archer, Who's Line Is It)...
      Watch it now and tell me what you think...

  4. The phone number to call for the black version is different from the white version which says something is strange.

  5. Seriously, My kids watch Nickelodeon and sometimes it's the white one sometimes it's the black. Same commercial for same knee brace.. whatever. Everything apparently is racist now.

  6. You might be eligible to get a Apple iPhone 7.

  7. There's a chance you're eligible for a complimentary $1,000 Amazon Gift Card.

  8. I haven't seen the black one every since the white one showed up. Weird



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About Me

Hi. I am, according to my Wikipedia entry,(which I did not create) a noted television writer, playwright, screenwriter, and occasional actor. You can Google me or go to the IMDB to get my credits, and you can come here to get my opinions on things, which I'll try to express eloquently. Hopefully I'll succeed. You can also e-mail me at Perhaps my biggest claim to fame is being responsible, for about six months in 1975, while Head Writer for the "Happy Days" TV series, for Americans saying to each other "Sit on it."