The Santa Monica Big Blue Bus has removed an ad for the new season of the TV show America’s Next Top Model as a result of complaints from the community.
The ads, which had been running for about two weeks on the sides of Santa Monica buses, showed series host Tyra Banks and a dozen young women, clad in bathing suits, standing in front of a waterfall in a jungle setting.
According to Stephanie Negriff, executive director of transit services, complaints came from people who thought the City and the Big Blue Bus were endorsing a show they believed was disrespectful to women.
“It was not simply the content of the ads that raised concerns; it was the placement of the ads at eye- and graffiti-level that increased the risk of objectification of the women featured,” Negriff explained, adding that some of the ads had been defaced with degrading comments.
Negriff confirmed that she received “only a handful” of letters complaining about the ad, but that the concerns of the letter-writers seemed valid to her and that she stands by her decision.
The Big Blue Bus has refused ads in the past. Negriff stated that ads for the movie Ten Things I Hate About You were removed because people misunderstood who was the target of the “hate,” while an ad for the TV series Nip/Tuck was also refused because it represented a scene of plastic surgery being performed.
CW spokesperson Paul McGuire’s response to the removal of the ad was: “I understand the effect that [the ad] may have had on the citizens of Santa Monica. But we are extremely proud of our flagship show and everything it stands for.
“For those citizens of Santa Monica who are interested in our program, it airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on the CW. It just premiered to its highest rating ever.”
The Big Blue Bus is refunding the money paid them by the CW for promoting the show.
Welcome to the Jungle, ladies.