July 1995 – Unilever, the company which scorned the request of AFA and thousands of individuals when asked to stop their promotion of sex, violence and profanity on television, has a policy (on paper) which forbids their sponsorship of such programs.
In a response to those who have written in protest, a letter from Lever Brothers Company Consumer Representative Kim Wilson puts forth that policy. Lever Brothers is part of Unilever and one assumes that the policy stated by Ms. Wilson applies to Unilever as well. Ms. Wilson writes: “Lever Brothers, as a company policy, seeks to avoid commercial participation in program episodes that are deemed to be exploitative or excessive, or those which demean or denigrate any religion, race or sex. In previewing shows in which our commercials are to appear, the important consideration is that program content be judged in relation to the basic storyline of the particular program.”
Donald E. Wildmon, president of AFA, says that a quick look at Unilever’s track record indicates that the policy is purely for public relations purposes and not taken seriously by Unilever.
“Unilever pre-screens every program they help sponsor. They know the content of the program before they sponsor it. Yet their policy, which sounds good on paper, is ignored in practice,” Wildmon said.
Unilever is the leading sponsor of ABC’s soft-core porn series NYPD Blue. David Milch, co-creator and executive producer of the program, admitted that he is a racist and puts racism in the program. Milch told a group of approximately 100 writers that he puts his racist views in the character of Detective Andy Sipowicz. He told the group that Jews make good writers while blacks do not. “I’m racist,” Milch said.
After Milch admitted his racist views and their inclusion in the program, Unilever did not withdraw from the series but actually increased their sponsorship.
Unilever is also a leading sponsor of sex, violence and profanity, and a leading sponsor of pro-homosexual programs.
Wildmon also said that Unilever appears to be pushing the liberal sex views of the Netherlands in the programs they select to sponsor. The company is headquartered in Holland and does business in several countries, including the U.S. “We are all familiar with the extremely liberal sexual views in Holland. One can only conclude Unilever has thrown its financial support to NYPD Blue and the other programs in order to push those views on America with the hope that this country will adopt them,” he said. He said that prostitution is legal in Holland, and pornography is sold openly, even pornography involving youngsters. Unilever has refused to respond to repeated requests from AFA to change their practice.
AFA encourages individuals to write President Richard A. Goldstein a letter. Let him know that Unilever products are not welcome in your home, and call Unilever customer service at 1-800-598-1223 to pass along the same message. (Please be polite.) The address: Pres. Richard A. Goldstein, Unilever United States, Inc., 390 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10022.