1. Thomasina says

    It’s a nice enough ad, but if the theme is “Come as you are,” are they trying to say that the natural state of gay kids is (and should be) the closet? That gay people are welcome in McDonald’s as long as nobody knows they are gay? I don’t actually think they meant either of these things, but I also think that the people who made the ad didn’t think its implications through all that well. If there had been some hint at the end that the son was planning to clue his father in, *then* “Come as you are” might have made more sense.

    McDonald’s restaurants in France have a lot of foods not available here–I’ve seen “Chez Mcdo”s with pastry counters, fancy cheese-and-grape salads, and beer and wine service. I still don’t like to eat there when I visit, but a *lot* of French people do.

  2. Gianpiero says

    The range of expressions on the kid’s face speaks volumes. His smile says, “Dear (but silly) Papa, you don’t understand yet, but you will.” He’s not wounded, but bemused. The sweet thing is that there’s no implication that this will be an unbridgeable divide between them. It’s the face of the kid here–the gay kid–that best illustrates the family tie.

  3. GBM says

    Did anyone else notice the quirky, crypto-homo angle in Hot Pockets’ new commercial? The roommates are discriminated against for being “free-eaters” of “soft, big buns of awesomeness,” leading to the slogan “Eat Freely.” The female roommate makes it clear that it’s more of a “post-gay” riff on homophobia, and only that for the sake of selling frozen cheeseburgers.

  4. Pedigru says

    “The theme for the ad campaign is “Come As You Are” as the restaurant chain seeks to emphasize that their customers are free to be themselves.”

    Are you kidding? The kid is clearly not free to be who he is. In fact, the commercial clearly depicts the boy having a fear of his father finding him talking to another boy from his class. This is demonstrative of a closeted mentality and I’d say it goes so far as to promote being in the closet as a good thing.

  5. Esurnir says

    France is the second biggest mcdonald franchise after the us in number of customers. And I think thomasina is clueless, it’s mcdonald not national coming out day dude. Throw them a pastries and they reply they want a five star dinner. Chill.

  6. Eugene says

    “The kid is clearly not free to be who he is. In fact, the commercial clearly depicts the boy having a fear of his father finding him talking to another boy from his class.”

    ++ There’s nothing good about this ad.

  7. Ander says

    I’m not sure how old this “kid” is supposed to be but I think that’s pretty common with kids from any generation keeping relationships a secret from their parents – regardless, the ad has a certain quality too it and I appreciate it

  8. Dan Cobbb says

    I think Ander is on the right track. At that age boys (and girls) hide their romantic interests from their parents, PERIOD! Gay or straight! So the fact that the kid hangs up as his father is coming to the table is not homophobic …. and the fact that the father doesn’t know, just means that the kid hasn’t told him yet. Nah, I’m not seeing this as homophobic at all… in fact it’s really a very real depiction, I think.

  9. Eugene says


    “I think that’s pretty common with kids from any generation keeping relationships a secret from their parents”

    The problem is that the kid also hides his sexual orientation. It’s not healthy.

  10. Zeke says

    Man…some of you guys need to lighten up! Why the tendency to immediately see homophobia and the like? Really look at his face and expressions…he doesn’t look the least bit afraid at all! Like someone else said, he’s kinda doing the internal eye-roll (bemused smile) that his dad hasn’t figured it out yet…and, as someone else said, that’s universal teenager.

    Thumbs up from me! But that’s just my $.02.

  11. says

    This wasn’t remotely homophobic. Teens gay and straight often don’t tell their parents who they are dating. Parents don’t want to see their kids as sexual beings and for that matter kids DON”T want their parent’s thinking of them that way. I think the advert is great because it subtly raise the visibility of LGBT youth-who are often overlooked since they don’t have the disposable income to syphon off charity money and high end luxury shopping items. I thought the ad was a cute slice of life, relatable and real.

  12. Steve D. says

    It’s not homophobic. Imagine that the next part of the conversation we can’t hear is the boy coming out to his father. The commercial is purposely open-ended, and real. Sorry, but every bit of media can’t be a neatly wrapped fable or sermon with a simplistic queer moral-of-the-story bashing the listener over the head.
    What I _do_ find homophobic is that McDonald’s will NEVER air this ad in America. McDonald’s will pander to every bigot in America because of the Almighty Dollar, rather than air a commercial like this on our holy airwaves. It is homophobic for a global company like McDonald’s to air a commercial promoting “Come as you are” in Europe, but not to air that same message in America. In America, the message is de facto “Don’t come as you are.”

  13. Paul R says

    Agree with Steve D. If this ad ran in America (not that it ever would) there’d be a huge uproar.

    As for those of you who think it’s consciously or unconsciously homophobic, I feel sorry for you. The kid is what, 16? And they’re treating him as a sexual being, talking to his boyfriend. Get a grip. As others have said, it’s more of a comment on parents’ cluelessness when it comes to their kids dating. If you find offense in it, you need to relax.

  14. mikel1814 says

    I see it differently I guess. I think the next words out of his mouth are “Dad, I’m gay.”

    We caught the very last seconds he was in the closet to his father. He comes out of the closet to him over dinner.

    That’s the way I felt watching the kids facial expressions.

  15. Eugene says


    “We caught the very last seconds he was in the closet to his father. He comes out of the closet to him over dinner.

    That’s the way I felt watching the kids facial expressions.”

    No, it doesn’t actually look like we caught the VERY LAST seconds he was in the closet. BUT the way his face lights up after “Too bad your class is all boys” is just PRECIOUS. It’s full of pride, joy, dreamy happiness and confidence. I guess the subtext is that France is gay-friendly enough that internalized homophobia is a non-issue for guys his age. As a result, his coming out is mostly about his father, not about him. And it looks like he will do it after dinner.

  16. Clifw says

    “Great ad, sympathetic characters…but who would want to eat at Mcdonald’s when you are in France?”

    France is McD’s second largest market after the US. Crazy, I know.

  17. g_whiz says

    Yes, the young man seems terrified of being himself and this sets back the movement significangtly…or not so much. The idea that this young man sees his father’s clueless role transference “Too bad you go to an all boys school” as a funny remark and gives him the somewhat bemused look as though he thinks his father some sort of charming generational dinosaur I think is very telling. Can we agree that the fact that the commercial is told from the gay son’s perspective- one of casual, confidence despite not yet being out to his father- is at least a positive?

  18. Kári Emil Helgason says

    I love it. Who does not remember these moments from their childhood? It serves to remind parents that they should never assume their kids are straight. That kid is such a good actor. Look at his face as his dad is talking.

  19. willyag says

    Mac donald’s in France is the only one franchise of american fast food for hamburgers (we also have KFC for chicken), so don’t be surprise we eat at the restaurants, because it’s very exotic for us :), but we also know it’s only junk food, don’t worry, we destroyed some Mac donald’s restaurants by the past :).
    This ad made absolutly no noise in france, nobody talked about that, just some news on gay websites.And we consider that ad like some transition between teenage and coming out to parents. I’m amazed to see so much reactions from people thinking this ad will never be on air in USA!
    It’s just a great ad, targeting young gays teenagers. (i’m french)

  20. Ian says

    OMG, it is just so sad all the queens on here saying there is heterosexism at play, the boy is oppressed and in the closet, he’s terrified to come out, etc. etc.

    Get a grip! The JOKE for the commercial is that the son is just as much a “playa” as his pop was back in the day, except he’s in a proverbial candy store of an all-boys school instead of being straight like his dad. The boy isn’t saying anything about being gay probably ’cause he doesn’t want to risk having all those nightly bootie calls taken away from him, LOL!

    He’ll tell his dad alright, after a few more years of sexual freedom at his school. What teen in their right mind would want to give that up?

  21. CPitts says

    I find all of the hoopla regarding this commercial excessive, and much of it misinformed. I also find it bizarre that THIS commercial is considered “gay friendly.” The boy’s dad is totally oblivious to his son’s true heart! How are the unwitting, biased, and expectant remarks of a clueless parent in ANY way friendly?

  22. dan says

    this commercial is so real, mcdonalds is just portraying the truth in such situations in which incidentally also straight young people find themselves in.
    what is so telling is that the boy is bemused but all set in what he feels about his secret passions with his classmate.

    should have decided to live in france. i am tired of the bible belt, christianity, straight only traditional non-sense here in america – i salute mcdonalds france in initiating such respectable stand for the truth.
    mcdonalds france just made it easier for gay young people to come as they are and learn from how the guy in the commercial handled his dad and just felt good about his love….unlike in america where gay young people are being driven to suicide in the name of religion, tradition, sickening pontification…..
    shame on mcdonalds here in the u.s., the land of hypocrisy….

  23. dan says

    sorry to post again.. i agree with the people who commented on the shame on the part of mcdonalds u.s. anticipated inability to do the same. imagine for mcdonalds to do this here, will need an act of congress, bring in the tea party nudniks, sarah palin and the national organization of marriage bigots, and of course the REPUBLICANS…. 9th circuit, supreme court….
    bottom line save these wonderful things from U.S. hypocrisy, i just enjoyed truth in this commercial…

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