Culture

Paul Rudd’s Pro-Mask PSA Gets a Few Things Wrong

Lead Photo: Art by Stephany Torres for Remezcla
Art by Stephany Torres for Remezcla

The guy is 51, so it’s obvious Paul Rudd is joking about being a “certified young person” in a pro-mask PSA released as part of NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s “Mask Up, America” campaign. But the actor’s millennial schtick gets more than a few things wrong—and not all of these mixups are from comedic marketing.

First, there’s the ironic use of slang—bae, vibe check, no cap—and cultural references, like TikTok challenges and DMs. Rudd blends together this mix as if it all pertains to one generation when, in fact, millennials are not a homogenous group (duh). The persona he’s adopted here “misuss AAVE in the same way 14-year-old white girls on TikTok dp,” wrote one Twitter user.

Plus, don’t some of these slang terms really more common among, and even originated by, Gen Z folks? (And again, some of them are specific to Black culture.)

Rudd then moves on to fault millennials for the continued spread of the pandemic: “Get this, a lot of COVID is transmitted by us millennials.”

Back in March especially, there was much discussion in the media about the role of millennials after White House Coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx said the group, referring to millennials as “our largest generations [sic],” could be “the core group that will stop this virus.”

But, as Twitter user @bizmarkiedesade pointed out, this greater responsibility comes alongside a systemic economic issue: