07 February, 2007

Maybe If I Were Gay....

I don't think there's ever been a year in my life where there hasn't been a Super Bowl. And I don't think there's been a year in my life without at least one commercial during the Super Bowl which objectifies women in some way. Those ads have stuck around.

Now, though, after a bit of hue and cry from the gay community the Snickers 'man kiss' ad is being pulled.

"This type of jeering from professional sports figures at the sight of two men kissing fuels the kind of anti-gay bullying that haunts countless gay and lesbian school children on playgrounds all across the country," Human Rights Campaign president Joe Solmonese said in a statement.


Yeah, okay. I take your point, Joe. But my first and most libertarian reaction is to say "Speak up and change the channel." With the millions of TV hours in play each year there is bound to be something to offend everyone. I think it's perfectly fine to say 'we don't like this and we aren't watching it and here's why.' Be outraged and then make a case for your outrage. That's a better way to educate people to your point of view, in my opinion. To simply demand that the world constantly bend over backward to adjust to your personal sensibilities is both impractical and childish.

I put up with Fat Monica on Friends, Shallow Hal, Big Momma's House, and countless other anti-fat entertainment options all the time. I can't turn on the television (especially during January) without running into about 9000 weight-loss commercials. What do you think these things do for the treatment of fat school children on playgrounds all across the country? Nothing good, I assure you. Yet I don't insist the ads get pulled.

I can't figure out if I'm jealous at the enormous pull the gay community seems to have right now or slightly irritated. Perhaps both.

Update: Fixed Link.

11 Comments:

At 6:29 AM, February 07, 2007, Blogger Slartibartfast said...

Sigh.

Didn't anyone take literature in high school? Are context and subtext foreign concepts now?

Dang. I can't believe I have to spell it out for the obviously uneducated critics of this stupid ad.

The theme of this ad is that auto mechanics are homophobic, and that their homophobia is humorous.

At NO time is homosexuality itself presented as being funny, only the mechanics' overreaction to an accidental kiss.

I consider myself uneducated in literary and cinematic concepts, and I understood.

 
At 7:35 AM, February 07, 2007, Anonymous john h said...

A) the commercial was stupid,imo
B) Much more importantly, shouldn't the company that makes Snickers be considered to be the 'bad guys' here? They are the ones that pulled the ad. The gay rights group(s) have the right to complain, but I'm pretty sure that the corporation that makes Snickers is the entity that pulled the ad.
C) When I was a kid (goodgrief here he goes again) it really was a chore to change the channel..you had to actually, for the love of God, GET UP and walk to the TV and exert some pressure on the know, and then return to your seat. These newfangled remotes make the task much easier, which is to say, if you don't like it, turn it off or change the channel.

 
At 7:36 AM, February 07, 2007, Anonymous john h said...

ugh..in the last episode of John makes another typo in a comment, the word 'KNOW' should be read as 'KNOB'.

The commenter regrets his error and is going back for more coffee.

 
At 11:59 AM, February 07, 2007, Blogger dolphin said...

Didn't see the commercial, but from what I've heard about it, it was a bad commercial that didn't appeal to ANYONE, but it really wasn't as offensive as a few members of the gay community have made it out to. I think I've heard something about Snickers having some online forum about the commercial that turned into a giant gay-bashing session and that is what alot of gay people are upset over, but I'm not sure (which probably goes to show just how NOT interested in this story I am).

Still, I agree with John H. If something offends you, you should have the right to complain. If the religious right can do it and get "Book of Daniel" (which looked to be one of the better shows that had come out in a long while) pulled off the air, then the members of the gay community can do it and get what they perceive as anti-gay pulled off the air, as can members of the fat community can do it to get what they perceive as anti-fat pulled off the air.

For what it's worth, despite the big announcement of pulling the ad, it's still been running.

 
At 11:59 AM, February 07, 2007, Blogger dolphin said...

Didn't see the commercial, but from what I've heard about it, it was a bad commercial that didn't appeal to ANYONE, but it really wasn't as offensive as a few members of the gay community have made it out to. I think I've heard something about Snickers having some online forum about the commercial that turned into a giant gay-bashing session and that is what alot of gay people are upset over, but I'm not sure (which probably goes to show just how NOT interested in this story I am).

Still, I agree with John H. If something offends you, you should have the right to complain. If the religious right can do it and get "Book of Daniel" (which looked to be one of the better shows that had come out in a long while) pulled off the air, then the members of the gay community can do it and get what they perceive as anti-gay pulled off the air, as can members of the fat community can do it to get what they perceive as anti-fat pulled off the air.

For what it's worth, despite the big announcement of pulling the ad, it's still been running.

 
At 12:22 PM, February 07, 2007, Blogger Kat Coble said...

If something offends you, you should have the right to complain.

That would be why my preference--as stated in the original post--is to SPEAK UP and change the channel.

I think the SPEAK UP part is essential, because that is the only way anyone can educate someone else as to what is incorrect, offensive, poorly written, etc.

 
At 1:16 PM, February 07, 2007, Blogger Amy said...

I'll be honest and say I thought the commercial was kind of funny.

maybe I'm naive, but does it really have to be about homophobia? can't it just be about two guys totally grossed out by the idea of kissing each other? I mean, I'm grossed out by the idea of kissing another woman--not because I'm scared of homosexuals, just because that's completely unappealing to me. much the same way I imagine it might be completely unappealing for a gay man to think about kissing a woman?

I guess I could be totally off base, but I just didn't see the offensiveness.

 
At 2:37 PM, February 07, 2007, Anonymous Bill said...

I think the Snickers company (Mars?) AND the entire ad crew from this project should be sent for reprogramming like that guy from Gray's Anatomy. --end sarcasm--

Hey, just wondering...and I ask this in all seriousness...since it's okay and even popular to be gay now, are high schools going to start teaching about gay sex in sex ed?

 
At 3:22 PM, February 07, 2007, Blogger dolphin said...

Hey, just wondering...and I ask this in all seriousness...since it's okay and even popular to be gay now, are high schools going to start teaching about gay sex in sex ed?

I'm not sure that society is quite to the point where it's "okay" to be gay, much less popular. There are still people everyday who are beat within inches of their life (or worse) just for being suspected of being gay. If you've missed it, more than a handful of states have been using the last few election cycles to insure that gay couples have even fewer basic protections for their families than they had to begin with. All that is "ok" is for gay people to be used as comic relief (I'm not actually referring to the snickers commercial here, but rather things like "Will and Grace" and "Boat Trip"). To society right now the idea of "gay" is ok, but actual gay people are still pretty much looked at as subhuman.

As for high school sex ed, it'd make alot of sense to mention gay sex in passing as clearly that's what 10% will likely be having as they get older. That said, the few times a sex ed program has dared even hint that gay sex might even exist in the world they have been met with the full force of the religious right's attack squad complete with death threats to the school board and the whole nine yards.

 
At 5:55 PM, February 07, 2007, Anonymous tom said...

I didn't dig the ad at all, but I just kind of shrugged it off because it was totally geared as a gross-out ad, not necessarily an anti-gay ad. I wouldn't want to kiss either of those guys anyway.

There is actually a foundation called commercial closet that acts as an advertising watchdog for gay neutral, gay positive, gay negative, and 'gay vague' ads. They have a huge catalog of print and video ads that chronicle gay portrayals in the ad industry.

My guess is that HRC needs money again (hey, i'm not sending them any) and this was a very fast way to get their name back out there, especially since the whole TR Knight fauxtraversy.

 
At 8:00 PM, February 08, 2007, Anonymous Mandi said...

I would have never thought this ad would be offensive. I personally thought it was very funny...two rednecks trying to prove their "manhood". I never made a connection to the "gay" thing. I think pretty soon we'll need to exist wearing tape over our mouths and blindfolds so that we offend no one.

 

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