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February 24, 2014 AT 1:00 AM
There have been many headaches for the White House during the Obamacare rollout, but who would have guessed that one of them would be caused by Richard Simmons? In January, the fitness guru appeared in a live Internet web stream urging California residents to “get covered” with Obamacare. But the PSA was criticized for its $1.37 million cost, especially because California’s Obamacare program is facing a $78 million budget shortfall. But this is hardly the first case of a celebrity PSA getting backlash. In 2010, Bristol Palin and Jersey Shore star The Situation appeared in a PSA advocating sexual abstinence. But their dialogue mentions the word “situation” over 15 times in two minutes, and some viewers found lines like, “If you do get into a situation with your situation, you may end up with a situation,” to be confusing. Even fictional characters aren’t immune from criticism of their PSAs. Cookie Monster appeared in a 1974 PSA where he eats healthy foods, like fish and vegetables, promoting good nutrition. But the PSA ends with a bulldozer full of cookies being dumped on Cookie Monster’s head, which some felt would only encourage kids to eat more cookies. Other times, it’s a celebrity’s personal life that can undermine their PSA. Pee Wee Herman appeared in a PSA during the 1980s to tell kids about the dangers of crack cocaine. But Paul Reubens, the actor behind Pee Wee, has since been arrested multiple times, including a 1991 bust for indecent exposure. Which means if California puts Pee Wee in their next Obamacare PSA, it’ll be another huge headache for the White House.