Here are some bad anti-crime PSAs, publicity campaigns and educational videos — in no particular order, because they’re all just awful.
1. Los Angeles Lakers Anti-Drug Rap
What’s the best way to undermine the authority of a world champion basketball team? Dress them in pastel short shorts and oversized sunglasses, and force them to rap and perform rudimentary choreography. Only Kareem had sense enough to distance himself from this misguided blend of “We Are the World” and “Super Bowl Shuffle.”
2. Mr. McGregor Sexual Abuse PSA
Possibly the creepiest PSA ever, it plays like an explicit version of that “very special episode” of Diff’rent Strokes with the child molester guy from WKRP in Cincinnati. Rather than raise awareness of abuse, it makes us want to shower, cry ourselves to sleep and never think about it again.
3. Joanna Cassidy Forest Fire PSA
You may have cut down on the number of arsonists, but you’ve raised a generation of zoophiles.
4. Boys Beware
An infamous “social guidance film” that equates homosexuality with child molestation: “What Jimmy didn’t know was that Ralph was sick — a sickness that was not visible like small pox but no less danger and contagious. A sickness of the mind. You see, Ralph was a homosexual, a person who demands an intimate relationship with members of their own sex.” Luckily, Jimmy doesn’t catch gayness.
5. Barnardo’s Poverty Ads
UK children’s charity Barnardo’s takes the “shock and awe” route to getting the point accross that poverty can lead to drug abuse, alcoholism and…roach breath? Does grossing people out make them want to give you money? If so, make your checks out to “The Blotter.”
6. Case Study: LSD
LSD turns hot dogs into talking troll dolls? Who wouldn’t want that?
7. Real Children Don’t Bounce Back
Should child abuse look fun?
8. El Paso Police Department Anti-Gang Rap
A cop with a sweet ‘stache delivers this “anti-gangsta rap” with his posse. It turns into an episode of Cop Rock when the judge and jury join in. If they’re the alternative to gangs, they’re making it awfully hard to keep to the straight and narrow. (Note: apparently they still hang people in El Paso.)
9. The Golden Girls Say No to Drugs
What better role models to speak to today’s drug-tempted youth than 70-year-old women?
10. Tentacle Sexual Abuse PSA
The hairy tentacle of sexual abuse??? Excuse us while we retch.
11. G.I. Joe “Knowing Is Half the Battle”: Stealing
Should the sailor from the Village People be trusted alone with children? (See “Boys Beware.”)
12. Don’t Copy That Floppy
Unlike the other two raps in this list, this guy (MC Double Def DP) is actually supposed to be a pro. It’s so grating, you’ll be hard-pressed to listen long enough to absorb the message. Fast-forward to the awesome mullet at 3:14.
13. Family Violence Partnership Statutory Rape Ads
We’ll never look at Photoshop the same way again.
14. Starship Troopers Child Abuse PSA
Overlooking the trivialization of child abuse by placing it in a cheesy imaginary world of intergalactic warfare, was Starship Troopers popular enough when it was released to warrant a themed PSA, much less 12 years after the fact?
15. Case Study: Amphetamines
“I’ve been using amphetamines for the past three years. When I was 17, I weighed 210. Now, I weigh 168.” Sign us up!