The MSG Network has pulled a controversial Knicks advertising campaign that offended everyone from women to poets to actors. Posters throughout New York City declared:
- "It's Friday Night. You can either go out and attempt to pick up sixes and sevens or stay home and watch Kidd dish out dimes."
- "It's Friday night. You can either watch East Village poets do battle or see real artists slam."
- "It's Friday night. You can either see a Broadway harness malfunctioning or you can watch real men fly."
The last one is a dig at "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark," which famously had technical mishaps that injured numerous cast members. (ESPN's Darren Rovell observes, "The ironic part of the ad ... was that it featured Knicks forward Amar'e Stoudemire, who is actually out at least a month and a half after having a procedure done on his much-maligned knee.")
The cable station, in an apology, called its abrasive tone "bad judgment." So, is this a case of irresponsibility or oversensitivity?
Photo: Nuyorican Poets Cafe
Well, as much as we enjoy an edgy laugh, none of the ads are particularly brilliant. "Sixes and sevens?" Kinda douchey. "Real men?" Kinda homophobic, considering... you know... Broadway. But here's the worst part: until this year, the Knicks sponsored youth poetry.
"[T]he loss of the Knicks Poetry Slam will be felt this year throughout NYC's spoken word community," Nuyorican Cafe director Daniel Gallant told Gothamist, "and this ad campaign -- on the heels of such an adverse funding decision -- was a kick in the teeth to the city's poets and arts educators."
Kicking people in the teeth: not a great way to spend Friday night.