Rob Lowe's The Grinder on Fox winks at Grindr app

The Grinder Has Literally Nothing to Do With Grindr. But Its Marketing Team Sure Loves the Innuendo.

The Grinder Has Literally Nothing to Do With Grindr. But Its Marketing Team Sure Loves the Innuendo.

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Brow Beat
Slate's Culture Blog
Sept. 28 2015 2:39 PM

The Grinder Has Literally Nothing to Do With Grindr. But Its Marketing Team Sure Loves the Innuendo.

grinder
Tag line: "There's no one he can't get off."

Grindr—the gay and otherwise MSM dating (i.e. hook-up) app that uses geo-location magic to let you cruise with your phone rather than your eyes—is full of men who talk a big game in their profiles. After all, the allure of a handsome face with a really good tagline is hard to resist. What would most of us do if, for example, we happened upon a strong jaw accented with opaque aviators, a powerful bicep straining at the fabric of a fine dress shirt, and a motto like “There’s no one he can’t get off”? Send an eager “sup man,” that’s what.

Or that’s what Fox is apparently hoping for, anyway, based on the network’s seductive ad campaign for Rob Lowe’s new legal comedy, The Grinder, which, to be clear, has absolutely nothing to do with gay hookup apps. Print ads for the series—which follows a famous legal procedural actor’s attempt to become a real lawyer like his brother and father—featuring the “get off” bit have appeared in many metropolitan locales in the lead-up to the Sept. 29th premiere, and that tagline placed next to that title have understandably drawn some double-takes on social media.

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While Fox hasn’t directly admitted that the connection is intentional, it seems likely that the wink is no accident, especially because the cast and crew have made many public jokes about the connotations attached to the show's name. (Reached for comment, Fox reps pointed us toward some of these public statements.) Lowe didn’t seem to mind the murmurs when ET asked about them back in July. “Look, I’m very current,” Lowe told the reporter. “I’m culturally significant. I could be on the Grindr app.” It’s such weirdly shameless demographic pandering, it’s hard not to be impressed. 

J. Bryan Lowder is a Slate associate editor and the editor of Outward. He covers life, culture, and LGBTQ issues.