CHICAGO (CBS) — The name of a new cable TV show shocked a community on the Southwest Side and the alderman was able to get a billboard company to remove the advertisement this week.
The billboard on 103rd and Western in the Beverly neighborhood depicted a young mother from Boston holding a young child and, in big bold letters, the name of the show: SMILF. Underneath that were the words: single, smart, Southie.
The Showtime show is described as a comedy that “takes on motherhood, co-parenting and female sexuality through a raw and unfiltered lens.”
“What I heard more than anything from mothers was, ‘Matt, my kid’s in the backseat of the minivan asking me what does that mean, mom,’” said Alderman Matt O’Shea.
He said he also heard from a father irate about the show’s objectification of women through its title. In an email, the dad pointed out that the billboard was located near an Irish dance school. The email reads: “I cannot imagine a more inappropriate place for this advertisement. This billboard epitomizes the objectification of women and further, mothers. Its existence in a family-based community such as ours is not only offensive, but sends a message that women, whether single or mothers or both are objects meant to be conquered.”
Karen Bychowsky said when her 8-year-old daughter first saw the billboard she said, “Look Mom, they spelled ‘smile’ wrong.”
“Luckily, my daughter was innocent enough to say they spelled ‘smile’ wrong, but other kids could have been, ‘oh, what does that mean,'” Bychowsky said.
O’Shea contacted the owner of the billboard, Outfront Media, and appealed on the grounds the ad went against the community’s family values.
The billboard came down soon after.
The alderman said half-kiddingly “If somebody wants to rent a billboard and 10318 S. Western, please give them a call.”