Metro Los Angeles has pulled a series of ads from L.A. city buses that refer to Octavia Spencer as a “scary bitch,” even though that’s one of the nicer things anyone has ever said on a L.A. city bus. The ads were for Spencer’s teen cancer dramedy Red Band Society, and attempted to add some levity to the whole kids-slowly-dying thing by poking fun at no-nonsense authority figure Nurse Jackson (Spencer).
However, that levity was lost on Angelenos, probably because it’s hard to take a joke while standing on a bus stuck in traffic with an armful of groceries in 90-degree heat. Riders offended by the foul language in the ad—as well as what appeared to be disrespect towards an Oscar winner and prominent woman of color (but she calls herself a “scary bitch” on the show so it’s fine, apparently)—inundated Metro Los Angeles with complaints until the transit authority took action. It did so, as has become the norm, with a tweet:
But there may be more to this story than meets the eye. Deadline reports that the ads ran on L.A. buses for months without incident, but were pulled amid great furor this week—one day after the series premiere of Red Band Society on Fox.