Miller Pulls Logo from Folsom Ad Over “Last Supper” Parody

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Pressured by right-wing religious groups like the Concerned Women for America who object to the parody of Leonardo da Vinci’s “Last Supper” in the Folsom Street Fair’s promotional materials, the event’s primary sponsor, Miller Brewing, has asked Fair organizers to remove its logo from all promotional materials.

Miller released the following statement: “While Miller has supported the Folsom Street Fair for several years, we take exception to the poster the organizing committee developed this year. We understand some individuals may find the imagery offensive and we have asked the organizers to remove our logo from the poster effective immediately.”

A representative from Miller told the Bay Area Reporter that they were not withdrawing their sponsorship, however: “We are and will continue to be supportive [of Folsom Street Fair and the LGBT community].”

Joe.My.God posts a statement from Folsom board of directors president Andy Copper: “There was no intention to be particularly pro-religion or anti-religion with this poster; the image is intended only to be reminiscent of the ‘Last Supper’ painting. We hope that people will enjoy the artistry for what it is – nothing more or less. Many people choose to speculate on deeper meanings. The irony is that da Vinci was widely considered to be homosexual. In truth, we are going to produce a series of inspired poster images over the next few years,” Copper said. “Next year’s poster ad may take inspiration from ‘American Gothic’ by Grant Wood or Edvard Munch’s ‘The Scream’ or even ‘The Sound of Music! I guess it wouldn’t be the Folsom Street Fair without offending some extreme members of the global community, though.”

And Dan Savage over at SLOG has been collecting other parodies of “The Last Supper”.

Recently
CWA Not Happy with “Last Supper” Ad for SF Folsom Street Fair [tr]

Comments

  1. DEAN says

    If Miller “caved in” to pressure from groups, they would have dropped their sponsorship completely. Instead, they went to the closet with it…which is even more shameful. Get the facts straight, please.

    I still think the ad is disgusting.

  2. HermesDC says

    You could see this one coming from a mile away. Someone at Miller’s advertising agency is in BIG trouble today. I can’t say I blame Miller though. The poster is sophomoric and silly.

    And please, the statement from FSF is so disingenuous it’s laughable. I don’t believe for a second that the image wasn’t meant to be provocative and controversial. But even if the intent was purely to mimic the original, anyone with a brain cell could see that it couldn’t possibly be received without controversy and implications of an attitude of disrespect towards people who hold the people and event the original mural depicts as sacred.

    Uh, maybe my intent wasn’t to burn my hand when I picked up a hot pan off the stove without a potholder, but I can’t honestly claim I was surprised or unfairly done by the result.

  3. says

    a reprint is not only costly, but this late in the game isn’t the Miller request futile? just wondering how days before the event the Miller logo can be removed from the posters… scissors?
    perhaps duct-tape might be more appropriate.

  4. ExGrifter says

    the Folsom St. Fair organizing committee needs a new art director – jeeze, parodying the Last Supper? It’s both a vapid lack of creative vision that was played out in the National Lampoon ’70’s AND guaranteed to stir up idiots like the Concerned Women for America… it’s akin to dropping a turd in a punch bowl – it was never really all that funny to begin with, gives idiots something to be ‘outraged’ about and spoils the party for everyone. Maroons.

  5. ExGrifter says

    the Folsom St. Fair organizing committee needs a new art director – jeeze, parodying the Last Supper? It’s both a vapid lack of creative vision that was played out in the National Lampoon ’70’s AND guaranteed to stir up idiots like the Concerned Women for America… it’s akin to dropping a turd in a punch bowl – it was never really all that funny to begin with, gives idiots something to be ‘outraged’ about and spoils the party for everyone. Maroons.

  6. DaveB says

    Why was Miller sponsoring the Folsom Street Fair to start with? Given that the entire point of the fair is to be provocative and confrontational, Miller is only asking for trouble by paying to have their name there. Duh. Secondly, and maybe more important though, should the fair have corporate sponsors like this at all? How can the thing be underground and counter-cultural if it’s designed to appeal to mainstream corporations.

  7. beergoggles says

    The only people offended by this would be people who think sex is dirty and that the leather/SM community (both gay and straight) is somehow shameful.

    Such attitudes say more about the people who take offense than the makers of the poster.

    I think it’s a great artsy poster – so much so that I have it saved on my computer so that I get it as a random background on some days – along with the groping parisien rugby players.

  8. says

    It’s Morons…

    I think Miller’s stance is fine, though I’m sure they had approval over the use of their logo on the poster in the first place. I have always found them to be very supportive and very present in gay events and in gay media. In fact, if I am going to drink cheap swill, I always choose Miller Lite.

    Folsom’s point that Da Vinci “was widely considered to be homosexual” is ludicrous. I don’t think the council of bigot women were objecting to the use of a painting by Da Vinci, but one depicting Jesus Christ, who I am sure they do not believe to have been widely considered homosexual.

  9. Joshua Norton says

    Miller or Budweiser are sponsors of all the major gay events in San Francisco. Most times, their input is a few thousand dollars – an investment for which they get 10’s of thousands of dollars in free advertising. In fact, one of the requirements for receiving the money is that their logo will be displayed on ALL advertising.

    Since the fair is in 3 days, legally, they’d have to pay the expense of replacing all the advertising they find “offensive”, since the poster is in compliance with their original contract. No matter the content of the Folsom ad, the law doesn’t allow unilateral renegotiation of the terms of a contract once it’s been signed.

  10. Rey says

    Disgusting? Really?

    I find it more disgusting that these so-called Christians are getting their cockles in a bunch over something like this.

    I mean, for one – how dare they show any non-Anglos in that picture! Everybody knows Jesus was as white as a Christmas morning snow.

  11. Norman Main says

    I’m not sure who’s more at risk of divine retribution – Miller, or the ‘christian’ idolaters who have sinfully deified a copy of a work of art painted on a former horse stable wall.

  12. says

    DAN B:
    actually it’s Maroons… any fan of Bugs Bunny knows that much.
    secondly, not only was jesus a homo, he was also black, and obese.

  13. FizziekruntNT says

    Since when do the Confounded Witless of Amerikkka drink Miller Lite anyway? They’re really pissed (hahaha) because Jeebus is being portrayed by a black man. *GASP!*

    Miller Lite IS cheap swill. I’m sure it goes well with watersports.

  14. Joshua Norton says

    “Since when do the Confounded Witless of Amerikkka drink Miller Lite anyway?”

    When it’s on sale at Walmart, usually. Hubby needs a cheap brewski while sprawled out in his La-Z-Boy, waving a flag at Fox Noise.

  15. Bud says

    “Offending extreme members of the global community”? Sorry but I’m not as “extreme” as a bunch of sick whore’s pissing into each others diseased mouths in the streets. Don’t call me a self hating fag either. I’m certainly no prude but I’m not going to be the one getting AIDS or some other STD while being fucked in the street.

  16. Mike Brewer says

    I’m the guy that won the poster contest for this years (2007) Folsom Event. I did not design The Last Supper poster, but the one that they held a contest for. I won the judges vote as well as the popular vote yet they decided to not use it for the event. I felt my poster was unifying and spoke to everyone. It pissed me off that they didn’t use it…and now they have are having so many problems with “The Last Supper”. I don’t necessarily have a problem with the poster and its use of such erotic material or even the fact it is a parody of The Last Supper. But what does it accomplish? For an event like Folsom, wouldn’t it be better to reach out to the community and unify ourselves in some way? I don’t think this poster achieved anything other than being shocking, which serves none of us. Folsom President Andy Cooper says that the posters for upcoming Folsom Events are going to be parody other works of art. Why? Again, why not be inspiring and intelligent…instead of shocking and unproductive. And the whole idea of parodying something lacks imagination. Yeah, I’m scorned and possibly a sore loser (winner). But a lot of people voted for me and I feel like the Folsom board just ignored that. Lastly, good job on the photography to FredAlert…I don’t dislike your work.

    Here is a link to see my poster.
    http://www.folsomstreetfair.com/photos/2006_contest_finalists/

    It’s FREEDOM by Patrick Brewer

  17. anon (gmail.com) says

    Mike/Patrick: Comparing photos it’s pretty obvious why they choose to ignore your winning poster–it lacked the “diversity” that the committee was looking for (think PC)–no women or minorities and no sense of community. And too many words. If you’ve ever spent any time on a committee you know that words are the hardest things to agree on, so the fewer the better. Committees are for masochists only. Sorry for your “loss”.

  18. DEAN says

    Patrick/Mike,
    Congrats on your win and, yes, they should have used your poster that won rather than the crap they chose to replace it with. Good work.

  19. Vi Agara says

    Miller Beer sponsors the festival because what they sell, the beer, an alcholic beverage gets you drunked up in the streets and into the party mode. Then they pull their logo from a picture based on a renaissance painting in order to appease a religious group.
    So them acting all good, moral christian soldier is f*cking hilarious. The irony is in your face on this one guys and I don’t think you all get it.

  20. Adam Vanderlip says

    this is absolutely disgusting, homosexuals have (rightly) asked not to be made the subject of attack or ridicule by the church. for someone who is gay to turn around and attack the church in such a purile manner is demeaning and offensive to both gays and christians. have some respect for others’ beliefs.

  21. jimmyboyo says

    Adam

    cry a river over the past 2,00 years of masacers of non christians by the church.

    Boo hoo the church gets made fun of boo hoo.

    Get real

  22. rjp3 says

    CHRISTIANS IN POWER ORGY

    The Vatican’s top doctrinal watchdog says bishops must take action against a heretical group that the Catholic Church fears may break away with up to 25,000 of it’s members around the world.

    In a letter to Bishop Gerald Wiesner, president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger said the Army of Mary lost its status as a
    Catholic association in 1987 because of “gravely erroneous” publications that suggested its founder, Marie-Paule Giguere, is a living reincarnation of the Virgin Mary.

    The Army of Mary was banned from all of Quebec 13 years ago.

    Yet the Army of Mary has continued its activities despite orders from the Vatican and the Archbishop of Quebec, said Cardinal Ratzinger.

    “This has been the source of tension and harm,” he said in his letter. (Girlfriend is pissed!)

    The Army of Mary is based in a large new facility in Lac Etchemin, 60 kilometres southeast of Quebec City, priests belonging to an affiliated group, Les Fils de Marie, have been ordained. The Vatican’s top doctrinal watchdog says Canadian bishops must take action against a heretical Quebec group that the Catholic Church fears may break away with up to 25,000 members around the world.

    In a letter to Bishop Gerald Wiesner, president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger said the Army of Mary lost its status as a Catholic association in 1987 because of “gravely erroneous” publications that suggested its founder, Marie-Paule Giguere, is a living reincarnation of the Virgin Mary.

    Although members of an affiliated group, Les Fils de Marie, are working as priests in Alexandria-Cornwall and Antigonish, N.S., the Army of Mary was banned from all Quebec parishes 13 years ago.

    Yet the Army of Mary has continued its activities despite orders from the Vatican and the Archbishop of Quebec, said Cardinal Ratzinger.

    “This has been the source of tension and harm, not only in Canada,” he said in his letter.

    Cardinal Ratzinger said it may be time for Canadian bishops to warn parishioners that the Army of Mary can no longer be called Catholic.

    “At the same time, all activities that are to be undertaken by the dissolved movement are to be discouraged in ecclesiastical settings,” the cardinal said.

    Bede Hubbard, associate general secretary of the Canadian Conference of Bishops, said the conference is still discussing the recommendations made by Cardinal Ratzinger in a letter dated Feb. 29.

    “The Roman Catholic church is not quite as monolithic as some people might think,” said Mr. Hubbard.

    “It moves slowly, and considers the good will and reputation of the people involved, and tries to allow everyone to regain as much of their self-respect and dignity as possible,” he said.

    The Army of Mary is based in a large new facility in Lac Etchemin, 60 kilometres southeast of Quebec City, but priests belonging to an affiliated group, Les Fils de Marie, have been ordained by Bishop Eugene LaRocque of Alexandria-Cornwall, and Bishop Colin Campbell of Antigonish, N.S. Rev. Roch Page, dean of canon law at Ottawa’s Saint Paul University, said Bishop LaRocque and Bishop Campbell have simply made the church’s problems with the Army of Mary worse by ordaining the priests.

    In 1997, the Vatican appointed Bishop Gilles Cazabon, of Saint Jerome, as administrator of Les Fils de Marie, the worldwide association of priests, seminarians and brothers associated with the Army of Mary.

    Father Page said Bishop Campbell’s ordination of four members of Les Fils de Marie last summer was illegal under the church’s canon law. He said Bishop Campbell should have sought permission for the ordinations from Bishop Cazabon, but refused to do so.

    Bishop LaRocque refused to ordain one of the four later ordained by Bishop Campbell, because the man did not have Bishop Cazabon’s approval, said Father Page. The five members of Les Fils de Marie now working in Alexandria-Cornwall parishes were ordained before Bishop Cazabon’s appointment.

    Bishop Campbell was not available for comment yesterday.

    Bishop Campbell’s ordination of members of Les Fils de Marie also drew the attention of another Vatican watchdog last fall.

    Eduardo Cardinal Martinez Somalo, head of the Vatican’s Congregation for Sacred Life, wrote to the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops Sept. 30 to say Les Fils de Marie continue to refuse Vatican directives to obey Bishop Cazabon, in spite of visits from Vatican officials.

    Cardinal Martinez Somalo said Pope John Paul II himself had personally confirmed Bishop Cazabon’s authority, and reminded Canadian bishops to refer all matters regarding Les Fils de Marie to Bishop Cazabon.

    Father Page said the members of Les Fils de Marie are good priests, and bishops in Canada are desperate to obtain francophone priests, because of their scarcity in today’s Quebec.

    But he said Les Fils de Marie were founded by Mme. Giguere, 79, and probably believe the doctrinal errors she teaches.

    He said several members of Les Fils de Marie left the Italian diocese where they were ordained rather than publicly renounce Mme. Giguere and her teachings.

    The Army of Mary refused to comment yesterday but has claimed in the past to have up to 25,000 members around the world, plus 80 brothers, seminarians and priests in Les Fils de Marie, as well as 80 celibate women who are members of Les Filles de Marie.

    Les Filles de Marie also have a convent in Green Valley, in the diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall.

    Madame Giguere founded the Army of Mary in Quebec City in 1971, and claims to have been receiving visions from God for 40 years.

    Archbishop Maurice Roy of Quebec City granted the Army official church status as a pious association in 1975, but that status was removed in 1987 by his successor, Archbishop Louis-Albert Vachon, after a committee of theologians examined writings by the group and agreed they contain grave errors in doctrine. Yet the 1975 decree granting the Army recognition as a pious association is still on the Army’s Web site.

    Father Page represented Archbishop Vachon as the case made its way through the church’s courts in Quebec and Rome. The Vatican twice confirmed Archbishop Vachon’s decision.

    Father Page said he expects the current archbishop of Quebec, Maurice Couture, will likely take further disciplinary action against the Army.
    bhop LaRocque and Bishop Campbell have
    In 1997, the Vatican appointed Bishop Gilles Cazabon, of Saint Jerome, as administrator of Les Fils de Marie, the worldwide association of priests, seminarians and brothers associated with the Army of Mary.

    Father Page said Bishop Campbell’s ordination of four members of Les Fils de Marie last summer was illegal under the church’s canon law. He said Bishop Campbell should have sought permission for the ordinations from Bishop Cazabon, but refused to do so.

    Bishop LaRocque refused to ordain one of the four later ordained by Bishop Campbell, because the man did not have Bishop Cazabon’s approval, said Father Page. The five members of Les Fils de Marie now working in Alexandria-Cornwall parishes were ordained before Bishop Cazabon’s appointment.

    Bishop Campbell was not available for comment yesterday.

    Bishop Campbell’s ordination of members of Les Fils de Marie also drew the attention of another Vatican watchdog last fall.

    Eduardo Cardinal Martinez Somalo, head of the Vatican’s Congregation for Sacred Life, wrote to the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops Sept. 30 to say Les Fils de Marie continue to refuse Vatican directives to obey Bishop Cazabon, in spite of visits from Vatican officials.

    Cardinal Martinez Somalo said Pope John Paul II himself had personally confirmed Bishop Cazabon’s authority, and reminded Canadian bishops to refer all matters regarding Les Fils de Marie to Bishop Cazabon.

    Father Page said the members of Les Fils de Marie are good priests, and bishops in Canada are desperate to obtain francophone priests, because of their scarcity in today’s Quebec.

    But he said Les Fils de Marie were founded by Mme. Giguere, 79, and probably believe the doctrinal errors she teaches.

    He said several members of Les Fils de Marie left the Italian diocese where they were ordained rather than publicly renounce Mme. Giguere and her teachings.

    The Army of Mary refused to comment yesterday but has claimed in the past to have up to 25,000 members around the world, plus 80 brothers, seminarians and priests in Les Fils de Marie, as well as 80 celibate women who are members of Les Filles de Marie.

    Madame Giguere founded the Army of Mary in Quebec City in 1971, and claims to have been receiving “visions from God” for 40 years.

  23. rjp3 says

    sorry have know idea how that repeated that way …. but it reads kind of cool. The Christian (and Muslim) religions should learn to get along before they come bowling for fags.

  24. Keith says

    Anyone remember the Miller beer boycott back in the early 90’s? The company bent over backwards to kiss the gay community’s ass in order to regain the market.

  25. Arnold E. Burgess says

    After this litany of hate, I am sure of 3 things:
    a)Racism is alive and well in Amerikkka.
    b)The ad served it’s purpose.
    c)Miller should have pulled it’s product not it’s logo.

  26. Zeke says

    Mike, for what it’s worth I prefer your poster to the Last Supper one for the very reasons you stated.

    Sadly, I think ANON’s point is true. In addition to the fact that words are hard for a committee to agree upon the sad fact is that America has become a country of people who are too g’damned lazy to read, preferring cheap thrills in self-explanatory picture form instead.

    Heck, we can’t even bother to read MEN and WOMEN on our bathroom doors anymore. We get to follow the stick figures.

    If for no other reason than the fact that you won the contest AND the people’s choice award, your poster should have been the one used to represent the FSF.

  27. says

    Mike/Patrick:”I don’t think this poster achieved anything other than being shocking, which serves none of us. Folsom President Andy Cooper says that the posters for upcoming Folsom Events are going to be parody other works of art. Why? Again, why not be inspiring and intelligent…instead of shocking and unproductive.”

    The poster was chosen because of a deliberate strategy of “edgy/brave” Christian baiting. Baiting Christians is bush league.

    To see what is happening here, look at their sillly press release:
    http://www.folsomstreetfair.com/fair-press.php?relNum=77

    And compare it with my parody – next years contest:

    September 25, 2008

    FOLSOM STREET EVENTS™ LAUNCHES POSTER DESIGN FOR 25th ANNUAL FOLSOM STREET FAIR™
    Poster image draws inspiration from the annual Islamic Hajj, in a poster entitled: Masjid al-Harem.

    Folsom Street Events has released its latest poster design for the 25TH Annual Folsom Street Fair. This year, the official poster, drawn by renowned artist Theo van Gogh, uses well-known community members as players in a strikingly original interpretation of the annual, worldwide pilgrimage to Mecca. The poster is the second in a series that draws from well-known paintings, album covers, movie posters, or other iconic images. Community members celebrate exuberant sexuality by donning their S/M regalia, and dancing around not the Kaaba, but a 10 story phallus.

    According to Andy Copper, Board President, “We are extremely pleased with the outcome of this poster, and we are looking forward to a particularly inspirational event season. There is no intention to be particularly pro-religion or anti-religion with this poster; the image is intended only to celebrate the sacred roots of raw sexuality. It is a distinctive representation of diversity with women and men, people of all colors and sexual orientations. Just as Mecca draws people of all races throughout the world, we hope people from all continents will come come celebrate with us!”

    Folsom Street Events acknowledges that many of the people in the leather and fetish communities are spiritual and that this poster image is a way of expressing that side of the community’s interests and beliefs. This year, Folsom Street Fair is dedicated to “San Francisco Values,” previously used against the San Francisco community for its support of sexual diversity and now used by Folsom Street Events as a way to reclaim power by the fetish community.

    Andy Copper, adds “We hope that people will enjoy the artistry for what it is – nothing more or less. Many people choose to speculate on deeper meanings. This is one artist’s imagining of a pilgrimage that is at one both sexual and sacred – all we did was adopt the iconography of Mecca and make it our own. The irony is that homosexuality has a long and wonderful history in Islam. In truth, we are going to produce a series of inspired poster images over the next few years. Next year’s poster ad may take inspiration from American Gothic by Grant Wood, the flag raising at Iwo Jima, or even Raphael’s ‘The School of Athens’ – community members are already preparing for roles in that one!”

    When asked about the murder of the poster artist, Theo van Gogh, and the worldwide rioting that has claimed dozens of lives, Copper said: “I guess it wouldn’t be Folsom Street Fair without offending some extreme members of the global community, though.”

    See their