Israeli officials say, 'There is no justification to illustrate a stigma which suggests a larger woman is either pregnant or simply too fat for anyone to consider going out with.'
Julia Louis-Dreyfus landed in hot water in Israel for starring in an ad that poked fun at overweight people. In the commercial for satellite TV provider Yes, she congratulated her plus-sized co-worker on her pregnancy, only to realize that the woman is not expecting.
She tried to undo the damage but ended up making another blunder as saying, "I would like to apologies to Betty for thinking that she was pregnant. Obviously she hasn't dated anyone in forever!" She added awkwardly, "And uh, yeah, you need a man to ... uh ... so, um ... I'm sorry!"
Israel's Yedid Association for Community Empowerment sent a complaint letter, saying that the commercial had gone too far. They asked the TV to take down the ad immediately due to "evident and unjustified insult to a substantial majority of the people."
"There are a lot of weight-challenged individuals in Israel who are treated in an irreverent and hurtful manner. There is no justification to illustrate a stigma which suggests a larger woman is either pregnant or simply too fat for anyone to consider going out with," they said.
They added, "The Yes commercial has been hurtful to a portion of the public, despite the inherent freedom of speech in advertising media. Should there be a new request to air the spot, the authority will need to re-examine the material and deliberate then."
Yes complied with the request and has since deleted the ad from its YouTube channel, but they defended the content. "The playful commercial was based on Julia Louis-Dreyfus' past characters, and the message is how one may handle making a mistake. If anyone is being ridiculed throughout the spot it is Julia herself who is the one making these mistakes," the company insisted.
"Per the planned campaign, the full candid featurette ended its run last week... It was not our intention to offend any population whatsoever and if it hurt anyone, we are deeply sorry," they said.
Louis-Dreyfus herself hasn't said a word about the controversy.