Friends of Canadian Broadcasting is a lobby group dedicated to helping preserve space on the airwaves for domestically produced television dramas. They’re the ones behind a series of humourous ads showing what would happen if Canadians stopped “telling their own stories.” (An American film director comes to shoot a film about a young mutant with ice skates for hands called The Bobby Orr Story). Now the RCMP folks are upset over the way they are portrayed in one of the ads.
In it, the same clueless director is making Snow Gangsta in which the snow on set is supposedly cocaine in an attempt to give the story a violent, urban edge. He also asks a native actor for the Inuit word for ‘pimp.’ In the background, an actor wearing the Mountie uniform just hangs out. This what the RCMP is objecting to. While I understand that the RCMP has become very proprietary over its image over the last ten years, I think the reaction to this is a little silly. Nobody watching the ad is going to think that’s a real Mountie. They’re going to understand the point of the thing, even if it means they won’t be watching any more Canadian television than they did before (“Yes, they make a good point with that ad. Is American Idol on yet? Oooh, shiny!”). Now if they showed the Mountie actually doing cocaine, I could see it.