Comments

  1. Dan Cobb says

    Obviously Mars, which is owned by a notoriously anti-gay right-wing family, has gotten great publicity by airing virulently anti-gay ads on TV, then pulling the ad after the predictable howl of protests erupt –only then to have their ads live on in ad finitum on the internet…. you know, everyone has to see the ad showing the fag being figuratively gunned down. They’ve got the formula down pat.

    The HRC would do well to say nothing, and the gay groups would do well to remain still in response to these ads. We’ve reached the point where companies who have an anti-gay agenda get their hate-filled messages on air all the while knowing that gay and civil libertarian groups will howl… in response Mars pulls the ad after great media attention is given to the ad. GMA and the Today show air the ad as part of “informing Americans” about the “controversy”.

    Let Mars spew their hatred –and let it be aired without so much as a whisper of protest– suddenly Mars will look like the bigots they are, and I think most American people will recoil with disgust at the ads.
    Don’t let Mars act the role of the incorrigibly loveable bad boy… they know EXACTLY what they are doing. And once they air the ad… the howl from gay groups makes many straight people snigger –knowing the ad is homophobic, and knowing that it should no longer be aired– but loving the fact that those “pesky howling homosexuals” got a taste of how some people feel.

  2. yoshi says

    “homophobic” snickers ads? Give me a break dude… It is really a stretch to call this ad homophobic. At worst – its anti-nerd. One of the many reasons I’ve stopped giving to the HRC and GLAAD. Wastes of money.

  3. yoshi says

    @Dan

    “anti-gay agenda get their hate-filled messages”

    *rolls eyes* I don’t buy the delusional theory that there is a secret room filled with “anti-gay managers” purposely designing ads to attack the “gay agenda” (whatever that is). Assuming this ad is “homophobic” (and that is a stretch) its simply not good business. So – grab a gin and tonic and chill.

  4. paulie says

    I just do not see this ad as homophobic. Stupid, yes. Confusing, yes. Bad advertising, without a doubt. Where’s the sell? Is this to appeal to the HUUUUUGE speed walkers demographic, to “get some nuts”? Is this supposed to appeal to the LEGIONS of former A-Team fans?

    If it showed the nerdy guy EATING the product and then going into a sprint, then it would at least follow some kind of logic. But here’s the real question: who is inspired to go out and eat a Snickers bar after watching this? Anyone?

  5. jason says

    The problem is that homophobia is institutionalized. When something is institutionalized, it is so ingrained in the culture that it often goes unrecognized by even those who claim to be on our side. I have no doubt that homophobia is institutionalized in ad agencies as well as other aspects of American society – eg the music industry, the movie industry etc etc.

    And things have gotten worse in recent years because, under the veil of good-natured bigotry, gays have become fair game again. We’re succeeding at the legal level (gay marriage rights etc) but there is a concerted attempt at the cultural level to put us back in our boxes and to mock us. Witness the rise of homophobic rappers and the porn industry, the latter being one of the most gay-hating industries about. If we don’t assert ourselves in the cultural mainstream – and I stress the mainstream as opposed to the gay ghetto – we’ll be toast.

  6. Ted says

    Yoshi, they don’t need to use the word gay to put on an ad that is clearly homophobic. You’re delusional if you don’t think that 99% of Americans will see the ad and conclude the speed walker is gay. And I agree with Dan Cobb, the ad absolutely sends the message, through worn out steroetypes, that violence againt gays is OK and it is funny. Check out the posting for the Larry King murder today and think about how many angst ridden teenage boys will see this ad and think its funny and get the message that gay bashing is OK.

    I don’t necessarily subscribe to the back room conspiracy theory but I do think HRC should have insisted on getting some sort of commitment from Mars on stopping this shit going forward. I do agree once it’s in the public domain, it’ll be there forever.

    I encourage everyone to boycott Mars until they prove they can be good corporate citizens. Use the HRC buyers guide and patronize companies that support equality. Speak with your wallets.

    Shame on Omnicom as well. They developed the ads and so they bear as much responsibility as Mars.

    Oh, and Mr. T is a fucking asshole for agreeing to do this.

  7. MCnNYC says

    Of course it’s Homophobic, sophmoric, and sexist yes SEXIST. Come on what part of “Run like a REAL MAN” are you missing?

    But marketing and advertising should not be exempt from critizing if someone yelled that to –YES—that same obviously effeminate speed walker–along Hudson River Park and then get some nuts…we’d all be up in arms.

  8. Ted says

    Oh and one more thing. I love the ad’s tag line, get some nuts, I can laugh at that in the right context. But the clear implication is that gay men have no nuts. I am so sick of these folks implying there’s no difference between a woman and a gay man.

    Now I’m really pissed. I won’t even laugh at that pool scene in Caddyshack anymore [that was a snickers, wasn’t it?].

  9. jason says

    Beware of subtle homophobia. Subtle homophobia falls under the category of a “good-natured ribbing”. The veil is humor, the raison d’etre is hate. The humor hides the hate, basically.

    Moreover, it should be stated that ad agencies mine homophobia. They’re not going to come out and say “this power walker is gay and therefore it’s fun to shoot things at him”. Rather, they’re going to telegraph it. Put him in a bright yellow pair of shorts, give him a sissified gait…it’s a form of sign language.

  10. SONNIE says

    As a kid and as an adult, my favorite candy bar has always been the “Milky Way” bar, made by Mars. Well, anti-gay, homophobic, almost Bi-sexual, or as straight as George W. Bush, I don’t give a Damn. That ad stinks! I won’t be eating my favorite candy bar anymore. There are other candy companies.

  11. Leland Frances says

    I really MUST get a new “Holidays Calendar”—I had to find out from Towleroad that this is apparently National Retarded Fags Week. First with all the cretins who defended the Nike “[A Man’s Face In Another Man’s Crotch] Ain’t Right” ad and now Dan imagining that we live in Everything Is Beautiful World where he thinks “most American people will recoil with disgust at the ads.” Sure, Dan, that roar we hear is the sound of millions of nongays storming Mars candy factories with torches.

    But if Dan is delusionally naive, Yoshi and Paulie are certifiably brain dead. I’m surprised neither of them didn’t write, “You pussies don’t get that the ad is not homophobic at all—it’s just about gun culture. I’m gay and I own a Gatling gun and have no problems with the ad. It was a big hit at our last National Fag Rifle Association meeting. You gurls who are still dealing with childhood trauma over getting a toy gun for Xmas rather than the Barbie Doll you really wanted should stop projecting your feelings of inadequacy where it doesn’t belong. In fact, I’ve written to Nike and asked them to make a new basketball shoe and call it ‘Gatling’ as in ‘gunning’ for a basket.”

    Gays—Still Their Own Worst Enemy.

  12. Pekemo says

    I don’t care what the uptight queens in here say, I don’t see this ad as homophobic, I didn’t see the Nike ad as homophobic, yes I think the Snickers ad was retarded but that doesn’t mean it was homophobic

  13. Norm says

    How is this ad homophobic? He is not a “swishy jogger” as you assert. He is a speed walker, which has nothing to do with his sexuality. While it is certainly not a great ad, I find no reason for more gays to be upset. The commercial does not perpetuate any stereotypes about gays, but the overreaction of the HRC certainly will.

  14. crispy says

    Leland,
    I see in my calendar that next week is National Ancient Queens With Borderline Personality Disorder Week. I think it’s great that you and your better half, Michael Bedwell, posed for the picture.

  15. Rafael says

    Norm,

    Blind is the one who refuses to see. What do you make of the tag line “get some nuts” in the context of this ad? This was as homophobic as it gets, and when I first saw this I was completely struck by disbelief, it was just way beyond the pale!

  16. banjiboi says

    TED

    I believe it was a Baby Ruth. It’s a way more convincing as a stand in for a turd. :-)

    About this ad, like the Nike campaign, it’s homophobic, but this one is a bit more ambiguous than the former. I don’t think that the walker is gay, I see men and women performing this type of exercise, and while I think it looks sorta awkward, and well, dumb, I don’t associate it with being gay. The point here as in the Nike ad is in the language. And I find it interesting that again, they’re using the black man as the aggressor, with stereotypical anger undertones, portraying the symbol of the ultimate heterosexual male.

    Scary sh*t.

  17. Dan E says

    1. Ted, it was a Baby Ruth in Caddy Shack, not a Snickers, so laugh away.

    2. I really don’t understand how anyone can fail to see the homophobia here. I think there was room for disagreement on the Nike ads of a few days ago; I’m struggling with finding a context where this ad isn’t homophobic in the extreme.

  18. Derrick from Philly says

    BANJIBOI,

    you make an interesting point about Mr T shooting at what appears to be a gay white man. When Andy first presented this story, the poster JASON (an Obama supporter) made the often used argument about black homophobia– that what if it were reversed, and blacks had been the targets of ridicule in this ad? I criticized him. But later I thought about it and realized that both of us were being silly. Mr T is not the creator/producer of this commercial. If anyone should be criticized it is those forces behind such messages. We were caught up in the imagery: innocent white gay victim vs evil macho black homophobe.

    Somehow for many white gay folks the face of homophobia in America has become black (anti-gay preachers, rappers, reggae performers), while the face of the gay minority has become “white-only”. The irony is that black homophobes usually visualize a black gay male when they speak, “I hate faggots…kill faggots”. Many cannot even recognize a white gay male unless he is very effeminate or in drag. Let’s not forget, this is still a segregated society: for the most part black gay-bashing victims are bashed by black homophobes, and white gay-bashing victims are bashed by white homophobes. But obviously, many white gays do not think of a black gay in danger when they hear the violent words of a black homophobe. They think of themselves.

    I wonder had the speedwalker been black would we have gotten all the reaction that this version of the commercial has generated?

  19. crispy says

    Oh, I can assure you I ain’t pissed. The dementia-raddled rantings of an 80-year-old queen hardly give me pause. I’m just happy that the staff of Shady Pines lets you surf the internet.

  20. says

    Couldn’t have said it better than STREPSI and BANJIBOI. I said the same thing over at Rod 2.0 about the alpha(black)male. How people still don’t see this as explicit homophobia just escapes me!

  21. banjiboi says

    @ CRISPY & LELAND

    Y’all both have me in tears!

    @ DERRICK & SHABAKA (Your moniker is reminding of a fierce house jam from the 90’s: “Work Shabaka, work Shabaka, work Shabaka, work!”:-)

    Yes, I do believe there is much cause for alarm. As I stated on the Nike post, the ads are concentrated in urban neighborhoods, adopting the style of language and phases most known to be used in these areas. I’m not saying that blacks are most prone to homophobia, but in my experience, I do feel that if I’m going to be called a fag, it would most likely be by a black man. I might get into trouble for that, but real talk, I grew up in tough sections of Brooklyn, so I know the drill.

    The black church is so RABIDLY homophobic, it has ingrained a permanent sensibility into its followers that being gay is patently wrong. There are NO gray areas. White churches are just as bad, but I believe that black males in struggling with stigmas their white counterparts don’t, feel the extra need for validation, in which they embrace the relief of feeling that “at least I’m not gay”, or even perhaps because they feel the constant sting of discrimination, they need perpetuate that same discrimination of gays. That the media is perhaps playing on this strikes me as bizarre or disingenuous, at best.

    Then again, I suppose it’s all too complex to delve into here, but that’s my opinion on the surface.

  22. Ted says

    I’m glad I have learned to caveat any facts I quote here if I’m not 100% certain.
    Thanks gents for the clarification. I used my free time to do some research and confirmed that Baby Ruth bars are made by Nestle so as longs as that organization is not also homophobic, nosh away.

    I’m not sure I’d rather have a lumpy Baby Ruth turd than a smoother Snickers one. Going forward I will think of Mars every time I ….

    I hear the next generation of this add will be aimed at Lesbians to promote the Milky Way bar, right?

    Leland, you made me piss myself. Thanks, saved me from having to get up from my computer. But Y does Crispy keep calling you Bedwell? Is it true? I hate inside jokes when I’m on the outside.

  23. anon says

    Oh, I’ve nearly given up on candy bars. They’ve stopped using real sugar. They’ve stopped using real chocolate. They taste awful these days. If I want soybeans, I’ll eat tofu. There was glimmer of hope that the ethanol debacle might force candy makers to switch to sugar again, but ADM being the source of all evil in the known universe, that’s pie-in-the-sky I suspect.

  24. says

    Like Leland/Michael and others, I can’t fathom explaining this away as just anti-nerd or anti-speedwalker!

    “disgrace to the man race”
    “be a real man”
    “get some nuts”

    and look at how he bats off those bars shot at him — just as I would, and I assure you, It would look faggy if I did it, too.

    The race part is interesting. For some reason I was reminded of an old photo of Nancy Reagan on Mr. T’s lap:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/kimdog/2987753/
    Marjorie Garber includes it somehow in her discussion of race and transvestism (I think both Nancy and Mr. T are in drag here…), but for the life of me I can’t remember the whole argument.

  25. Jesse says

    for what it’s worth, here’s the opinion of a
    21 year old Advertising Major:

    the NIKE ads-
    it is evident the ads are homophobic.
    this is my assumption/impression of the advertisers’ mindset:
    “how do we sell these new shoes?”
    “let’s show how great they are- how high they can make you jump!”
    “but instead of emphasizing the positive aspect of having the shoe,
    let’s show how much it sucks NOT to have the shoe.”
    “we’ll show people how horrible it is if you don’t wear this shoe”

    ..these people thought they were being creative,
    and yet they ended up producing homophobic ads that clearly portray the message:
    “buy these shoes or you’ll end up with a man’s crotch in your face, WHICH IS BAD!”
    and whoever wrote the headline “that ain’t right” is hopefully being sued by now.. by someone..
    (seeing as that’s the most offensive line in the campaign).

    the SNICKERS ads-
    i’m not even going to argue that one,
    because everyone has already pointed out the NUMEROUS reasons why it is obviously homophobic.
    anyone trying to defend the commercial as acceptable,
    either has failed to understand the points everyone else has made,
    is arguing just for argument’s sake,
    or has issues with their own sexuality and what it means to be gay.

    I will say this however,
    I can appreciate the fact that although these ads are offensive,
    they are at least forcing people to embrace homosexuality
    into their tv’s and into their lives.
    yes, the ads are making fun of being gay,
    but i’m slightly happy at the fact that millions of people
    watching the superbowl last year
    were forced to see to grown men kiss.
    obviously i’m not pleased at how
    the men in the commercial reacted to the kiss,
    but still-
    the more people see two men kiss,
    the more they’ll get used to it.
    DESENSITIZING is the word of the day.
    but i much prefer the method of seeing gay couples getting married all over the news,
    than a random candy bar making fun of gay guys in a commerial…

    on a similar note, (kind of)-
    who thinks it’s ok for gay people to use say F__
    the way whoopie thinks it’s ok for black people to say N_____.
    I love whoopi but i must disagree with her,
    I don’t like either of those words, no matter who’s saying them
    or what context they’re in..
    don’t even get me started on that stupid fruit of the loom campaign from a while back… (which used both those words).

  26. Leland Frances says

    “the more people see two men kiss,
    the more they’ll get used to it.
    DESENSITIZING is the word of the day.”

    Uh, Jesse, appreciate you’re seeing the exploitation of homophobia in the ads, but, uh, NO!

    The word of the day is “context.” The ILlogical extension of what you’re saying is that coverage of lynchings helped racist whites who were never around blacks “get used to [them].”

  27. Jesse says

    I see your point Leland..
    ..in response to your comparison of my argument
    to racists watching black people being lynched,
    that was a little harsh..
    I was referring to all different types of people seeing the ads,
    not just homophobic idiots.
    i know people who are accepting of homosexuality and gay marriage,
    but are still uncomfortable seeing two men kiss,
    because they’ve never been around it,
    or it’s how they were raised, etc.
    i don’t think this makes them homophobic,
    i think they just need to be exposed to it more,
    in order to be more accepting.
    (..although that is starting to change these days with people coming out at younger ages…)
    you’re right, it is exploitation..i didn’t look at it that way b4.
    i suppose i was just trying to make a positive out of a negative..
    my boyfriend and i hold hands in public every chance we get,
    sometimes intimidated by our surroundings,
    but we gotta do what we gotta do,
    in order for homosexuality to be considered ‘normal.’

    all i was saying, was that i was pleased people were forced to watch two men kiss.
    the fact that a gay kiss was aired during the superbowl is small step for us,
    but a step none the less…
    even if the kiss was afterwards made fun of.
    it’s a stretch, i know,
    but like i said,
    just an attempt to make a positive out of a negative i guess,
    please don’t bite my head off.

  28. I Heart Ryan Reynolds says

    The fact that anyone is arguing that there’s no anti-gay subtext here (or in the songs of Katy Perry, or in the now infamous Nike ad) just shows that many gay men will refuse to acknowledge any expression of homophobia that isn’t as explicit as actually hitting a gay man in the head with a crowbar.

  29. Ted says

    Jesse you need to choose your words carefully here or risk getting bitch-slapped. Been there, gotten that.

    I see your point that the more straight people see gay people kissing, the more they will get used to it. I agree. This ad didn’t do anything for us. And the superbowl ad was not two gay men kissing. It was two men who were repulsed by what they did. Advertising is not yet ready to help our cause, it seems to me.

  30. Erik says

    “HRC applauds Mars for taking swift and appropriate action…” WTF? HRC is crap. They applaud Mars for removing something that should not have been made to begin with. And it just makes my blood boil when ever they include ‘transgender’ in their fight for rights. They’re just a bunch of kowtowing rich white folk who would still be in their fake marriages cruising the parks at 1 am if it weren’t for the drag queens and trannies.

  31. josh says

    i think its great.. fun and so savvy.. as i gay man i can find it funny and chic at the same time.. one must always find the humor in everything.. its just funny.. gosh, give it a rest..

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