It’s a common social embarrassment that many of us have fallen victim to. Asking “Oh, when are you due?” only to be met with the response “I’m not pregnant.” Oh, the horror… Sadly for Julia Louis-Dreyfus, however, her comic take on this scenario, for a regional TV commercial has been banned from the airwaves in Israel, for fear of offending its overweight citizens.
In the commercial for local satellite TV station Yes, the former Seinfeld star can be seen patting a co-worker’s belly, thinking that she was with child, only to realise that she is not pregnant at all, merely overweight. The social embarrassment continues, and culminates in her remarking that the woman couldn’t possibly be pregnant “because obviously she hasn’t dated anyone in forever.” The Hollywood Reporter revealed the news that the ad had been pulled from broadcast and quoted Israel’s Yedid Association for Community Empowerment, who filed a complaint with Yes’ CEO Ron Ayalon, as well as the Cable & Satellite Broadcasting Council.
“There are a lot of weight-challenged individuals in Israel who are treated in an irreverent and hurtful manner,” came the complaint. “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.” The commercial has not only been pulled from air but also removed from the company’s YouTube channel. Yes released a statement of apology, stating “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… It was not our intention to offend any population whatsoever and if it hurt anyone, we are deeply sorry."