Posts tagged with "sexual abuse"

Hiking by Kaelen Felix for 360 Magazine

Tums’ Inappropriate ‘Camping Trip Chili’ Commercial

By: Emily Bunn

Antacid brand, Tums, recently released a commercial for Tums Naturals which features two women camping in the woods. As they heat chili over their campfire, one of the women begins to feel some heartburn. Suddenly, a towering, ominous red pepper appears behind her menacingly. The pepper is noticeably phallic, and dominates the small woman. TUMS announces, “When heartburn takes you by surprise, fight back.” The woman shown suddenly dropping her chili and defenselessly being dragged across the forest floor. As she is hauled away, she flashes the pepper her container of TUMS–almost as if she is wielding off an attacker with pepper spray.

The commercial has stirred associations with sexual assault, as the woman is dragged off without consent from the phallic figure. Tums’ commercial is an insensitive and inappropriate representation of such serious matters. To equate having some temporary heartburn to being assaulted is a far cry, and comparing the two lessens the severity of experiencing life-long trauma from sexual misconduct. TUMs ineffable lapse of judgement in creating this disturbing commercial is unprofessional, and promotes rape culture through joking about assault and brushing off the severity of such.

The commercial represents the woman as an unknowing victim, painting her in the horror trope light of the ‘final girl.’ The final girl trope in horror movies represents the heroine left standing at the end of the movie who fights off the offending villain, the most ‘pure’ woman–oftentimes a virgin–whose obedience rewards her with life. This trope is rooted in misogyny, and is an outdated sentiment of the entertainment industry’s emphasis on the male gaze. Just like in horror movies, the woman in this commercial gets to escape–thanks to her handy Tums– but this resolution begs the question: without her Tums, what would have happened to this woman? What is it that the giant pepper is threatening her life with, and why did Tums find it appropriate to relate a life-or-death situation to mere heartburn? Some may say it’s for laughs, but when situations like this actually occur– not with a giant pepper, but instead with an aggressive abuser who aims to hurt women– it’s no laughing matter. Whereas in a fictitious horror movie–or Tums commercial– the final girl gets to escape with her life, women who experience sexual assault are forced to live every day with the real life horror of their trauma.

Rita Azar illustration for a sports article in 360 magazine

OHIO STATE ABUSE ALLEGATIONS DOCUSERIES

Docuseries will be the first of its kind to extensively examine the decades-long scandal uncovered in the Sports Illustrated digital cover story by Executive Editor Jon Wertheim 

Smokehouse Pictures and Sports Illustrated Studios announced today that they will produce a docuseries based on Wertheim’s groundbreaking digital cover story detailing prolific alleged abuse at Ohio State University (OSU). The series will further detail the scandal that lasted three decades and left many questioning how this victimization went largely unreported.

Sports Illustrated executive editor and senior writer Jon Wertheim – one of the most accomplished sports journalists in America – broke the story on the October 5, 2020 digital cover: “Why Aren’t More People Talking About the Ohio State Sex Abuse Scandal?” The in-depth expose revealed the extent of Ohio State’s sports doctor Richard Strauss’ alleged sexual assaults and manipulation of over 350 (reported) student athletes.

Jon Wertheim explained: “This article uncovers the most widespread sexual abuse scandal in the history of American higher education. It is a story about power, abuse, enabling and the hierarchy of college sports that had been concealed for far too long. Because these courageous men made the decision to remain silent no longer, we can finally begin to hold the abuser, and those who were complicit in their silence, accountable for their actions–and inactions. With the help of 101 Studios, Authentic Brands Group and Smokehouse Pictures, their voices and stories–harrowing as they are–will be amplified.”

For the first time ever – UFC Heavyweight Champion and OSU alum, Mark Coleman, provided Wertheim with his detailed account and disclosed Strauss’ administration of anabolic steroids. In addition, Coleman (among others) has alleged that Congressman Jim Jordan knowingly ignored Strauss’ alleged abuse to the athletes as he served as the OSU Assistant Wrestling Coach from 1986-1994. No one believed that the alphas of campus, the star wrestlers and NFL-bound football players, could be sexually abused by a man.

Even after the school identified merit behind Strauss’ alleged abuse claims, he was simply and quietly let go. No formal reports were ever filed, and he remained on the university’s payroll as a tenured professor.  Strauss’ behavior continued unchecked when he was able to open a private men’s clinic in Columbus, just down the street from campus. He continued to operate this clinic until his death by suicide in 2005.

George Clooney and Grant Heslov from Smokehouse Pictures emphasized: “We’re very pleased to partner with 101 Studios and Sports Illustrated in bringing this devastating and tragic story to light.”

“It’s enormously important that we continue to shine a light on this ongoing, painful story and further explore its wide-ranging effects” said Marc Rosen, President, Entertainment at Authentic Brands Group, who in partnership with 101 Studios formed Sports Illustrated Studios in 2020. Rosen continued: “We are lucky to be able to tap into the exceptional journalism of Sports Illustrated’s Jon Wertheim, and we are incredibly proud and humbled to bring even more awareness to his investigation.”

Strauss’ hundreds of victims continue to seek justice. Only 162 have reached a settlement of $250,000 each and there are over 250 claims still pending.

George Clooney and Grant Heslov of Smokehouse Pictures will serve as Executive Producers along with Jon Wertheim, Jamie Salter, Corey Salter and Marc Rosen of Sports Illustrated Studios, and David Glasser, Ron Burkle and Bob Yari of 101 Studios.

Andrew Kramer of Loeb & Loeb negotiated the deal on behalf of Sports Illustrated Studios.

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About Smokehouse Pictures:

Smokehouse Pictures is a motion picture and television company founded in 2006 by George Clooney and Grant Heslov.  Smokehouse’s film Good Night and Good Luck, garnered a total of six Academy nominations including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay.  The company also produced the Academy Award-winning Best Picture Argo, the Academy Award nominated The Ides of March and August: Osage County as well as: Suburbicon, Money Monster, Our Brand is Crisis, The Monuments Men, The American, Leatherheads and The Men Who Stare at Goats. Clooney and Heslov also directed and served as Executive Producers on the Golden Globe and Emmy nominated Catch-22, a six-part limited series for Hulu based on the Joseph Heller novel. Their most recent project was The Midnight Sky for Netflix which Clooney starred in and directed.  Smokehouse is currently in production on the Clooney directed The Tender Bar for Amazon.

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About Sports Illustrated Studios

Established in 2020, Sports Illustrated Studios is a media production company that develops, produces, and distributes long-form film, television, and audio content based on the stories of world-class Sports Illustrated journalists from today, tomorrow, and the past 65 years of the brand’s history. Sports Illustrated Studios seeks to reimagine and recreate the most memorable moments in sports history in cutting edge and unexpected ways for audiences worldwide. Upcoming projects include Paradise Found based on the true story of high school football coach Rick Prinz; the feature film Red Rose Crew based on the riveting true story of the US international women’s crew team and the docuseries Covers, a behind-the-scenes look at Sports Illustrated’s top cover stories of all time.

“Two Reasons Why I Won’t Report My Child Abuse”

Excerpt from The Teenage and Young Adult Survival Handbook By Steve Simpson

“The first reason is I know that I could be better in school. I know I mess up at home. The clothes I wear. The way I have my hair. The attitude I have. The trouble that I get in. I bring it on myself. If I were a better person these things probably wouldn’t happen to me. Ever since I can remember, I have been told by my parents that all the problems at home are my fault. People have it worse than I do.” These are the thoughts of many who are being abused and the first reasons why they won’t report it.

What I discovered was that even children who do fantastic in school, never get in any trouble, and do everything “right” still get abused by their parents or abusive adults in their home. Their parents even called them the same names as me and they were model children. I’ve found it has nothing to do with the way I act at all. It has nothing to do with who I was. It has nothing to do with the children. It has to do with the adults. Child abuse and discipline have nothing to do with each other. People who abuse children do it because of their own sickness, be it alcoholism, drug abuse or other problems they have.

“I knew my father or my mother’s boyfriend had no right to abuse me but I always felt that my mother would get in trouble for it.” This is the thought of many abuse victims and the second reason why they don’t report it. Even though they are getting abused they still try to protect the non-abusing/co-dependent parent. What I offer to those children is you would not so much be getting your parent in trouble, but you would be getting them help. Most authorities get them to go to therapy, which would stop that parent from allowing abuse to themselves and others in the future, therefore making their life better. So by protecting yourself you’re actually not getting anyone in trouble but protecting them and getting them help as well. Even the abusive adult could end up getting help as a result of you reporting it. Nobody should abuse you, period!

If you are being abused in any way, sometimes the abuse looks like it’s becoming less frequent. Don’t be fooled by this. It could suddenly pick up again and get worse. It will not stop unless you do something to stop it. Speak to a teacher, guidance counselor, school social worker or psychologist. Counselors from community centers and sometimes even people from local churches will know what to do and how to get you help. You can call Child Protective Services for your local area. Nobody should be abused in any way. You are no exception. You are worth getting help.

Approximately 5 children die a day as a result of child abuse. For those who suspect child abuse whether it be a relative or neighbor, it always amazes me how people will call 911 simply because someone parked in the wrong spot or put the garbage out on the wrong night, yet they won’t get “involved” in possibly saving a child’s life or at a minimum their childhood (not to mention the problems they will have as an adult as a result of their abuse). As responsible people we are already “involved”.

If you suspect child abuse it probably does exist. Don’t make excuses or protect and enable the abuser. Protect who you are supposed to protect, the children.

 

About Steve Simpson
Steve Simpson is a child advocate, child abuse survivor and media commentator who just released The Teenage and Young Adult Survival Handbook — a small guide that is modestly tucked inside in all four of his YA adventure novels which covers most of the topics plaguing young people today—suicide, bullying, sexual abuse, physical abuse, verbal abuse, self-worth, being the child of an addict, living in a dysfunctional home, surviving school and more. Simpson was even recognized by President Barack Obama, former New York governor David Paterson and the County Executive of Nassau County for his efforts on behalf of abused children.