Comments

  1. crispy says

    Oh lawd, we’ve hashed this one out enough.

    Let’s talk about a new controversy… why in the hell is walking fast without bending your knees an Olympic sport?

  2. Matthew says

    I agree with Karl. Sometimes we just need to let things go and not get all caught up in them. There are levels of homophobia. Plus, we just need to develop a sense of humor about some of this.

  3. Jordan says

    The ad is only “homophobic” if you necessarily equate effeminacy with homosexuality – and to see gay people doing just that in an attempt to make some misguided point about homophobia, in the process doing the very same stereotyping that we so often decry, is a great embarassment.

  4. dekko says

    I don’t think there’s anything “clearly homophobic” about the ad. Because speedwalkers do just look silly.

    Now, thinking speedwalking looks gay… there may be some homophobia in that…

  5. Peter says

    It’s a foolish ad, but I don’t see it as homophobic, because the alleged homophobia is not explicit. It depends on the perception of each viewer.

  6. gay as life says

    To be technical, I would say the ad is more disrespectful of gender identity issues than of homosexuality. It is suggesting that men should never act in an “effeminate” manner, and strikes at masculinity issues.

    Granted, that tends to cross over into homophobia in today’s society, where being gay is equated with being “less than a real man.”

  7. Michael Bedwell says

    Thanks for having the balls, Andy, to stick to your laser-perfect opinion about this knowing that the Uncle Tomisina’s would once again come to Massa’s defense.

    Gay pride is melting, melting I say!

  8. scientitian says

    A speedwalker sticks his ass out and holds his hands up in the air as he walks. These are stereotypes for gay men, and although not necessarily true they are stereotypes that the general public will recognize and associate with gay men. The ad agency knows this very well, and knows the public will eat up that representation and the crude joke that follows, asserting that a real man should not act as the stereotype of a gay man acts. If speedwalking looked “funny” in another way (lets say if speed walkers held their hands above their heads or flapped their arms at their sides instead of swishing their asses), the reference and therefore the commercial would be lost completely.
    Let me be as clear as possible: speed walkers look “funny” to the ad’s audience because the slack-jawed, snickers-eating, Mr. T-loving, McDonald’s-going American public thinks they walk like fags. “Run like a real man!” and “get some nuts!” refer _directly_ to this. I cannot comprehend how anyone fails to see that this is directly connected to gay stereotype.

  9. Kurt says

    If you call this ad homophobic then you are saying that the speedwalker is gay. Where in the commercial does it say anything about his sexuality? So everyone who goes speedwalking is gay now? And if Mr. T shouts to them “get some nuts” then he’s a homophobe? Oh please, you guys are ridiculous. Get over it, it’s not homophobic.

  10. says

    The ad is offensive because it celebrates an assault on a man who is deemed insufficiently masculine. Gay men who hate sissies will not be offended by the ad, and they are right to find that it is not homophobic. Gay men can be worse than others when rejecting men who do not strictly follow gender stereotypes. The discrimination suffered by gays today is trivial in comparison to the abuse heaped upon trans people.

    For what it’s worth, I believe that Mr. T had no intent to bash gay men and I would disagree with anyone who criticized him for making the ad. Mars, which is running its second ad in as many years linking Snickers consumption to bigoted violence, is the villain here. I will not buy their products any more. This is tough because there are tons of them, but I think it is called for.

  11. says

    I think the ad incitates to violence against effeminate men (gay or straight), and because this kind of violences is an actual trouble in USA the ad is irresponsible. The ad isn’t offensive, it’s worse, it incitates to violence. Why that man is “a disgrace for the human race”?

    Sorry for my bad English.

  12. White Collar Boy says

    Kurt, it’s called subtext, and it requires you to read between the lines. The ad shows an effeminate man wearing short-shorts and sashaying down the street. Gay men are stereotyped as effeminate; short-shorts are depicted as gay in popular culture; sashaying is also stereotypical gay behavior (it’s even referred to as “swishing” sometimes). Sorry, but the guys saying that this is not homophobic seem really stupid to me, like they’re just not very bright and either did not go to college; or did not study well; or did not study anything that fosters the ability to read and interpret critically; or are still very young and just have not developed those skills yet. Of course, some of them are just trolls trying to make the rest of us angry by playing dumb, but that’s not very intelligent behavior, either.

  13. Daniel Oneil says

    Pathetic. Only one word describes this kind of advertising, and I will NEVER give out their sorry ass candy to the 300 kids who come to my door at Halloweeen. FUCK these candy makers.
    I am sick of their spokesman, and their sorry ass message. No, I do not accept their excuse, and NO I do not want to ever hear from their ad reps in any forum again.
    -Dan O’Neil,
    Bend Oregon

  14. chad says

    This ad is clearly homophobic ,its intent is to appeal to sublte homophobia and people who dont see this must be voting for John Mccain. Get some nuts is clearly talking about more than the candy-bar,and violence towards anyone percieved as a bit effiminite is clearly the message here. Wow the fact that some gay people dont see that ,or all people is mind-boggling to me.

  15. paul says

    I love Mr. T and I LOL’ed when he said that he’s been “pityin fools for 28 years”! Love him.

    Loved him when he had Boy George on the A-Team when I was a wee lad, and I love him now.

    Up in the air about the commercial. I can see both sides, but it makes me a little uncomfortable.

    I could still use a little more Mr. T though.

  16. PeKeMo says

    I never saw the ad as homophobic, I’ve never associated speedwalking with being gay, I’ve never seen or known a gay guy who speedwalks. I think speedwalking looks stupid no matter who’s doing it, male or female. I really think this is jumping the gun, and to White Collar, subtext can also be subjective, people two different people can get two completely different interpretations of a situation. Just because someone doesn’t have the same vision, doesn’t give you the right to insult them. Just because you associate certain things with being gay, doesn’t mean everyone does.

  17. wslandry says

    WTF why don’t people just freaking relax!!! With all the issues that gay’s face this is so stupid to give it any merit. Get over it you bunch of cry babies. FU Bill O’ Reilly he is the gay’s real homophobic turd.

  18. White Collar Boy says

    PEKEMO, that’s an incredibly stupid argument, and it’s exactly what I was talking about. I am not the only one who associates swishing with being gay, or short-shorts on a man with being gay, or effeminacy with being gay. Those are widespread cultural stereotypes. Any reasonable person in our culture would recognize them as such, especially if it were pointed out to them. Give the speedwalker a limp wrist instead, and I’m sure you’d make the same stupid argument.

  19. Paul R says

    I pity the fact that I think Mr. T is probably not homophobic and generally seems like a nice guy. But he also clearly doesn’t have the smarts or at least desire to recognize that this ad could be deemed offensive.

    It’s a stupid ad.

  20. kurt says

    Short shorts are not gay and neither is shashaying or whatever, if someone does that you can’t automatically call them gay; that’s stereotyping. The ad is for snickers and it used Mr. T…what did you want him to do hug the speedwalker? No Mr. T is a hardass. I can see how it COULD be interpreted as homophobic but if you’re reading that deeply into a candy commercial then there’s obviously something wrong.

  21. Almond Joy says

    The ad is very exercisephobic. Why can’t they leave people alone that want to exercise and not eat junk food. The candy industry is feeling it in their waist. They clearly don’t want the suburban fool working out. What’s next, all the fast food chains moving out of the suburbs. They’re seeing the end of fat people everywhere and they’re clearly not happy.

  22. Strepsi says

    KURT — that’s right, short shorts and sashaying are not in themselves “gay”, and to say so is stereotyping — WHICH IS WHAT THIS AD DOES. How do you not get this? This ad equates speedwalking/sashaying explicitly with being effeminate. If it did not the line “Get some NUTS” would have NO play on words and would not be there. Most people’s problem with gay people is related to gender – how are gays usually stereotyped? As effeminate sashaying screaming “non-men”. The ad is clearly homophobic. One does not need to STATE “gay = bad” to be homophobic (or, perhaps more accurately, phobic-of-people-breaking-gender-norms). To which I might be only slightly peeved, except the ad THEN implies that if you see such a femme man, IT WOULD BE FUN TO SHOOT HIM.

  23. Matt says

    I can see both sides of the arguement. My question is that the Big Sketch Show on Logo does stuff like this all the time. Remember the “Bear in my backyard sketch”. Also Saturday Night Live and Mad TV have been making fun of gays and lesbians for a long time. Why isn’t this deemed as offensive as well?

  24. Scientitian says

    Matt – good question. On Logo, I’d imagine it is intended to poke fun at and deconstruct stereotypes (those making the program and those watching it are probably gay, and know very well how ridiculous and homophobic the content is, as do their viewers – we hope). When you are presenting something stereotypically gay to a non-gay audience that is not perceptive to homophobia and stereotype, it is quite irresponsible since it only provides affirmative feedback on their existing homophobic behavior and the irony (if intended) goes totally unnoticed.
    Yes Kurt, I get what stereotyping is – that is what the ad is doing. The ad is playing on existing stereotypes about gay men – people who BELIEVE the stereotypes about gay men will see the speedwalker as gay. The creators of this ad are aware of this (which is precisely why they chose the speedwalker and why the ad is so offensive). That is why the “real man” and “get some nuts” are included in the same context.
    Tell me this: Why would Mr. T (or anyone, for that matter) think someone speedwalking is not a real man or needs to get some nuts? You could say it’s because speedwalkers look funny, but other things that look funny (I think the long jump looks pretty ridiculous) aren’t considered un-manly. You could say it’s because the man isn’t doing a “real” sport that requires lots of physical exertion, but golf and nascar racing require little physical exertion and society doesn’t those sports are un-manly. Get the connection?

  25. ggreen says

    Nothing is put on commercial television that doesn’t appeal to some kind of base emotion. If television only presented facts no one would watch it. This advertisement was put through numerous focus groups before it was aired. It made the focus group participants comfortable about their prejudices and made them associate that comfort with candy bars. Mission accomplished Snickers.

  26. says

    “I am not homophobic.”

    In my experience, the only people who ever have to say that are homophobic. If you’re not homophobic, you’re never in a position where you have to defend yourself.

  27. nycswish says

    Hello,
    I didn’t think that the commercial was homophobic and I admit that I did laugh. I would have liked to see how the world reacted if the walker was A. American or Asian though. Have you seen a man speedwalking? It is kind of comical, I laugh every time I see ANYONE with that face and straight legs. I know…. I know but, I guess I’m on the side of “lighten up”.
    The commercial is violent, that was the one thing that made me cringe. He is shooting a big gun at someone. I was thinking more about gun laws and the kind of acceptance of guns/gun access in our culture more than the speedwalker. But, it’s Mr. T and he is a comedian. It looked like a Rambo spoof. I really was impressed at his response. I’m not sorry it is in the news, at least it is being discussed.

    “The fact that gay bashing incidents have come to a complete halt since the ad was pulled is proof enough that it was homophobic.”

    I don’t know about that one. I think there may be some checking to do about bashing statistics. I’d say it’s still going strong and we can thank that ass Mr. McCain for in his stupid interview with G. Stephie. And if anyone corrects my grammar, I’m going to buy a Snickers, maybe 2.

    Have a nice day out there. RB

  28. Pekemo says

    White Collar, my comment wasn’t stupid it’s true, as demonstrated by the many people who posted here saying that they didn’t consider the ad homophobic. Like I said before, the homophobia in the ad is subjective. Just because you felt the need to act like and overreacting jackass who insults anyone who doesn’t agree with you, doesn’t mean everyone else did.

  29. White Collar Boy says

    PEKEMO, that’s a stupid retort. Common meanings exist, but you are arguing that they don’t exist, and that’s a stupid argument. The ad plays on common gay stereotypes, so to a reasonable person, it’s not as subjective as you’re making it out to be. Sorry, but many of the posters on this board seem incapable of even somewhat rigorous analysis, so the fact that some of those same posters agree with you isn’t evidence that your point is true or well-reasoned. And the reason you’re being insulted is because you keep making stupid arguments. People who make nothing but stupid arguments should be ridiculed. They’re “time burglars”.

  30. PeKeMo says

    WHITECOLLAR, all your doing is proving my statement true, by insulting people who don’t agree with your opinion. I never said that common meanings don’t exist, but just because they do doesn’t mean everyone acknowledges them. And how is saying that not everyone agrees with you not making my point, especially when there are comments from other people saying so? If someone has a different view on something that you, it means they saw it in different terms. That’s pretty much the definition of “subjective” and how deep am I making this argument? Some people saw it as homophobic, some, including me, didn’t necessarily see it as such, that’s pretty black and white to me. And besides, like KURT said, if you reading into a candy commercial this much, than something is wrong.

  31. says

    Even if you take all of the gay subtext or innuendo out of the ad it’s still pretty damn violent. A black guy shouting at a white guy to get some nuts??? While firing Snicker bullets at him from a machine gun? Hell, the whole ad is riddled with a violent subtext. And it’s aimed at a guy that even if he isn’t gay, looks pretty damn queer.

    Either way the message is the same one – there’s something wrong with this speedwalking dude and Mr. T is gonna take care of the problem.

    Homophobic or not the ad implies violence and the black guy/white guy angle makes it even more insidious. Great, just what black guys need is one more reinforcement of the stereotype that they’re all a bunch of violent thugs.

    How would everyone be reacting if the guy with the machine gun was white and the speedwalker was black? Bet we’d be hearing some seriously different tunes. Go ahead Snickers, reverse the skin color of your characters and let it rip.

    The ad is a giant piece of steaming excrement from every conceivable point of view. It’s weird to see people defending it because it was so obviously designed to offend.

  32. Paul R says

    No one has addressed perhaps the most bizarre aspect of this story: why in the world would Mr. T choose the O’Reilly factor as a forum for defending himself against charges of homophobia?

    Tom Clark is right; there’s really nothing to defend about this ad.

  33. White Collar Boy says

    PEKEMO, that’s yet another really stupid argument. The point is that a reasonable person would indeed see the ads as playing on gay stereotypes. Just because you claim not to see those stereotypes does not mean that the ad is impossibly subjective and it’s homophobia is indeterminate so we shouldn’t criticize it. In this situation, it just means that you are kind of dense or unsophisticated or that you’re playing dumb. Sorry, cultural relativist, but not all interpretations are equally valid. And it doesn’t really require any deep concentration to see the homophobia in the ad. And the fact that it’s an ad for a trivial item doesn’t make it any less worthy of criticism. Most advertisements are selling trivial items, so you must mean that we should pretty much never criticize homophobic advertising. After numerous posts you still haven’t come up with a logical reply. You’ve just added one illogical point after another. That’s a very strong indicator of stupidity, and that’s why I’m calling you out so harshly.

  34. Pekemo says

    White Collar, from your past statements, you don’t really have the right to state what is reasonable. My argument is simple, hell its not even an argument. Like I’ve said before, some people see the ad as homophobic, some don’t. All your doing is needlessly complicating the subject. And what logical reply are you looking for?

    I’ve made my statement which really doesn’t require argument because it’s clearly a fact. SOME PEOPLE DO NOT SEE THIS AD THE SAME WAY YOU DO!!! Why are you trying so hard to deny that fact? All you need to do is scroll up and see previous posts to confirm it. There is no argument here, and by continually insulting people who don’t agree with you, all you’re doing is making yourself out to be some immature psuedo-intellectual asshole.

    You say that “not all interpretations are valid”, so whose to say that your’s is the only one with any validity ? At the end of the day, all your doing is bitching about a stupid candy commercial that hardly anyone saw and barely anyone is going to remember in a weeks time. Just because a speedwalker doesn’t inspire images of homosexuality to me, doesn’t mean I’m unintelligent, it just means that I don’t think speedwalking = gay. And no matter how many times you call my posts “stupid”, which is pathetic and immature in it’s own right, I’m not going to equate speedwalking with being gay.

    Maybe if you tried to submit your argument in a less bitchy, high-and-mighty attitude from the get-go, I’d be more inclined to take it into consideration. But since you decided to be an utter dick about it, your argument holds no weight with me.

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