Few people know that he got his start as an opera singer in Baltimore, but he became everyone’s favorite everyman as he performed different day jobs across America on Discovery Channel’s Dirty Jobs. Since the show ended, Mike Rowe has become a spokesperson for America’s proletariat. From his website:
“Mike was overcome with a strange desire to give something back. On Labor Day 2008, he launched a PR campaign designed to reinvigorate the skilled trades. He’s since written extensively about the country’s relationship with work, the widening skills gap, offshore manufacturing, infrastructure decline, currency devaluation and several other topics. . . . In May 2011 he testified before the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee about the importance of changing perceptions and stereotypes around blue-collar work.”
The Walmart commercial, called “I Am a Factory,” perfectly represents what Mike is about. It accompanies Wal-Mart’s announcement of an initiative to purchase $250 billion of American-made products over the next 10 years.
Once the commercial aired, the Walmart-haters emerged. They were happy to call out Mike Rowe for “selling out” to big corporate. But Mike Rowe is no dummy. He knew exactly what he was doing in the commercial and has no problem working with Walmart because their initiative to buy American is a good initiative. He’s also capable of speaking for himself and defending his actions. Mike answered some questions on his Facebook page after the commercial aired and the criticism started.
To one man who questioned Rowe’s decision to partner with Walmart, Rowe replied: “Honestly Kevin, who gives a crap about your feelings toward Walmart?”
He defended the American-Made initiative: “[D]ozens of American factories are going to reopen all over the country. Millions of dollars will pour straight into local economies, and hundreds of thousands of new manufacturing positions will need to be filled. That’s a massive undertaking packed with enormous challenges, and I want to help,” he said.
Regardless of how you feel about Walmart, isn’t it refreshing to hear from an articulate celebrity who has thought through his choices and can stand up to criticism and make a case for what he believes in? It’s not something you see everyday. Bravo, Mike Rowe.
Photo Source: Pacific Coast News