Corporations, can we be real for a minute? We don't like making fun of you. It's exhausting, because we have to try to take something horrible like funding genocide or turning us into addicts or how you're taking over everything and layer it with enough dick and poop jokes to make it palatable. For those of us who haven't had our souls surgically removed, seeing so much awfulness in the relentless pursuit of profit really wears on you. So, for our sake as much as yours, could you try being just a little bit less evil?
No? Welp, we gave it a shot. Here are six more unbelievable assholes to ruin your day:
6GM Sends Recall Letters to People Already Killed by Unrecalled Cars
Look, automakers, we get it. Cars are big, complicated machines, and no matter how hard you try, some mistakes are going to slip through the cracks. It's just a fact of life. All we ask is that when something does get by you, you give us the courtesy of saying, "Hey, just a heads-up -- it's probably nothing -- buuuuuuut this thing might kill you at any second." Preferably before that very thing happens. General Motors, unfortunately, did that in the opposite order.
"Like we said, it's probably nothing."
Way back in 2004, GM discovered that some of their cars had a bad ignition switch that would turn off for literally no reason, cutting power to anti-lock brakes, power steering, and airbags. Your car powering down out of nowhere may not seem as dangerous as, say, it suddenly bursting into flames, but it has led to the deaths of at least 13 people since these cars have been on the road ... and GM, in the grand tradition of "if we ignore this, maybe it will go away," didn't initiate a recall until 2014. Now they're embroiled in approximately all the lawsuits, have recalled millions of vehicles, and shit-canned a dozen or so people in the process.
Incidentally, some GM cars do have that "suddenly bursting into flames" problem we mentioned, as one man found out when he got a recall letter half an hour before his car immolated itself.
"And you didn't immediately leave it in a ditch?! You irresponsible bastard."
Other recall letters weren't so timely. In their effort to spam everyone who might have ever touched a faulty ignition switch, GM ended up sending recall notices to people who have already died as a result of said ignition switches. A GM rep was quick to apologize to the re-traumatized families, which was almost certainly followed by a pregnant pause before he asked, "So you won't be bringing the car in, right?"
5Mattel Apologizes to China for Saying Chinese-Made Toys With Lead Paint Are Bad
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As an adult, you know that lead is bad for you and that you shouldn't eat it. Kids, however, are stupid and will gleefully shovel poison into their mouth like it's Swiss chocolate. As a result, the United States banned lead-based paint in 1978, forcing it into the ranks of home glass-blowing kits and lawn darts as perfectly good things that children ruined for everyone.
Fast-forward to 2007 when Mattel, the world's largest toymaker, recalled nearly 1 million toys for being slathered in brain-stupidifying lead paint. Evidently, Mattel's Chinese supplier (i.e., the people who actually make the toys) hadn't gotten the memo about lead being bad for humans, leading us to wonder if there are any other ingredients Mattel didn't specifically tell them not to use.
"Hey, you didn't say we shouldn't occasionally replace Elmo with a live snake."
Unlike most companies on this list, Mattel quickly admitted that selling shoddy, potentially deadly toys was wrong and apologized profusely ... to China. You know, for besmirching the country's reputation. Just a month after the recall began, Mattel sent a top executive to Beijing to publicly say sorry for ever suggesting that the Chinese company which put the lead paint on toys was in any way responsible for putting the lead paint on toys. Mattel also claimed that the whole lead thing wasn't such a big deal after all -- actually, most of the toys were recalled due to "design flaws" that were in no way the fault of the glorious, strong, and breathtakingly handsome republic of China.
Andy Wong / Associated Press
"No, you can keep the sword. That's Japan."
Why would Mattel do that? Because it was either that or finding somewhere else to manufacture 65 percent of their toys for cheap. Mattel is so heavily invested in Chinese manufacturing that China was able to wag the dog, lest they become annoyed and start driving up Mattel's costs by giving their workers bathroom breaks or other such luxuries. And remember, Mattel is the customer in this arrangement. It'd be like if Applebee's served you a pile of shit, and then you went on national TV, held up the shit, kissed it, and agreed that it's a delicious steak.
Andy Cross/Denver Post/Getty Images
In other words, a regular steak from Applebee's.
And on that note ...