Memo to CTV’s So You Think You Can Dance Canada

Popularizing the military-uniform-complete-with-red-armband-look done to hip hop probably isn’t the most brilliant move, considering the folks that have worn such uniforms have never been friends of human rights, liberty or freedom. Call the HRC? No. Learn some 20th century history? Yes.

Watch the video here

I’m sure there was no harm intended, however it shows a level of ignorance that should be addressed.



  • AtlanticJim

    Really need to lighten up.


  • morgan

    A case of one hand not knowing what the other is doing.

    Is CTV being offensive? No. That implies intent. None meant… I agree with you. Ignorance? Incompetence? Absolutely, especially at this time, in the lead up to Remembrance Day. Safe to say that those in charge of wardrobe and those in charge of screening acts for the network obviously don't wear poppies… probably some 20-somethings who don't give a rat's ass. They shouldn't be fired. They'll probably leave on their own anyway and wind up at the CBC at some point in their lives.

  • Stephen Taylor

    Jim, this might help you. I don't know, but you seem like the type.

  • East of Eden

    So, that's hip-hop. I'm sounding more like my late father with each year (55 of them, to be precise). I don't know how anybody can listen to that style of music. Yup, sounding like my father. As for the clothing, I'm pretty ambivalent toward it.

  • Simeon

    Jack Layton would of wet himself with these communist fashioned dancers proudly displaying their red arm bands.

  • Mark

    If you get any response out of CTV you'll probably get the “just a fashion item” reply. I tried to get MontrĂ©al's Musique Plus to clarify their position on a number of their VJs wearing the black and white keffieh popularized by Yasser Arafat and all I got was “it's just a trendy fashion scarf, no offense or political statement was meant or implied”. This either belies a formidable ignorance or a lack of courage when called on to defend their political opinions.

  • Beer and Popcorn

    This is pretty tasteless – how do people watch this garbage?

  • Stephen Taylor

    That's not hip hop. I'd say it's just ignorance of some folks at CTV.

  • harebell

    Actually it is not that unusual for people in the military to wear coloured armbands to denote side in an exercise. Red and yellow being common because they stand out. Indeed I have worn one on just such an occasion. My uniform fitted me a little better and I had a tin top on at the time though, and those boots.. puhlees.
    Your reaction to this is a little contrived to say the least. Me thinks that you protest a little too much… But I`m trying to work out why.

  • East of Eden

    Simeon, you just made me think of something. If socialism and communism are so wonderful why do those countries need so much military presence and internal police presence. You'd think that people would be dying to get INTO those countries and not out of them. You jogged my memory – thanks.

  • vidvid

    As a history buff I should say that this was a poor decision by the folks at CTV. As for hareball's comment about “sides” in an exercise, context is the only thing that we ought to consider here. Was this a portrayal of an exercise or a loosening of views against the historical enemies of our country and freedom on a popular tv show? You wouldn't grow a “Charlie Chaplin” mustache and put on a military uniform and dance on tv complete with stiff hip hop arm gesture, no? The red arm band in a popular culture context denotes but one thing.

  • Taylor Cutforth

    Personally, I see it more as a political statement more than a general lack of creativity by the wearer.

    Regardless of how they choose to wear it. Why put the idea into someone's head that it could be either or?
    When a person has so many options now-a-days to individualize what it is they put on… yet the people who ware those generally have the same-yet varied reasons/opinions on the subject–thus exposing they lack of actual individuality or sense of political diplomacy.

    Giving off the impression “Look at me! I'm being BOLD.”…

    as someone else who is wearing the same thing in effect says “you're and individualist? me too” in reply, while at the same time saying to others “I may or may not be sending the wrong messages to others”, “fashion first! ? what does that mean?” and translates to (some) Palestinian groups: “free Palestine” representing Palestinian nationalism or in some cases Militantism.

    How a person chooses to present themselves in public does hold more meaning then what some may think.
    You can't just say its just a article of clothing when you know it holds some sort of political meaning behind it.
    Then it becomes a statement. In such cases, its good to wait until the issue surrounding something is long resolved and the attached symbolisms have lost their meaning.

    So its not so much about being “Bold” as it is about being “Ignorant” or even inconsiderate.

    (For the record, I've never picked sides in the middle-eastern debate other then the sides that promote moderate and open discussion to encourage progressive steps toward a meaningful peace without the use of violence from either side. Impossible situation? Nope. Just too many angry/ignorant people not thinking straight. Watch someone like Obama head over there offering everyone a piece of yummy pie and that'll be the end of it. I'm not being serious but hopefully people catch my drift.)

  • Taylor Cutforth

    The show ain't that bad.

    My wife got me a little into it for awhile ago when it was on in the states… I was actually impressed.

    Give a look here to see what I mean.

    I'm not into dance, but that was really–really good.

  • Taylor Cutforth

    Hahahah, right on the button.

    Take that Jack!

  • AtlanticJim

    I do like ziggy most of the time!

    But really, everytime I play paintball out in the woods, I am wearing cammies and a red/blue/yellow armband. No histotical or political meanings meant or infered.

    The show itself? Yet another reason why all the Canadian broadcast channels are locked out on my DVR. Gotta unlock the CBC for two hours tommorow for the national Rememberance service.

  • harebell

    You're absolutely right context is important. So the context is a dance programme watched by a lot of folk who aren't even old enough to remember the sight of revolutionaries in the 50s and 60s and even if they were, well the situation in which they are in would render the revolutionary angle out of context.
    Consider Boss suits (outfitters to the SS), Mercedes cars, AG Farben Chemicals etc. If I was to use your paradigm for assuming indignation every time I saw one of these logos on their products I would be permanently apoplectic.
    As for the Chaplin tash (although I think you meant Hitler tash), Mel Brooks did it and it was positively hilarious. Stiff arm gags were rendered suitable for public consumption by Peter Sellars, and John Cleese combined both with much mirth and merriment.
    I reiterate your objections are contrived and silly and the history buff thing is irrelevant.

  • Jordan Alcock

    Agreed… a bad oversight, untimely considering that tomorrow more than ever we will be honouring veterans who fought such people…

  • Bob’s your uncle
  • Beer and Popcorn

    Chacon son gout, but I would rather watch replays of Joe Volpe or Hedy Fry's speeches at the last Liberal leadership convention – at least this might be good for a laugh..


  • Beer and Popcorn

    Chacon son gout, but I would rather watch replays of Joe Volpe or Hedy Fry's speeches at the last Liberal leadership convention – at least this might be good for a laugh..