Monday, February 05, 2007
I had no idea this crazy commercial existed until just now (it only aired last night during the Super Bowl), but the gay bloggers are already in a tizzy about it, criticizing Mars, Inc., calling for boycotts, and screaming that they're promoting violence against gay people.
Americablog has a really great and much more in-depth reaction to the commercial. Links to Snickers' site seem to have the commercial removed already, including the players' reactions to the "kiss." Unless someone more web-saavy than I am can figure it all out.
While I see their points, especially about showing the NFL players recoiling in disgust, I think maybe they're missing the point. Could it be possible that the Snickers company is making fun of homophobes? Albeit the commercial is aggressively unfunny, uninspired, and not at all clever, I don't really think it's homophobic, exactly. Just sort of...gross. And dumb. I will admit, however, that the association between homosexuality and being unmanly is a particularly insidious one, and one that I, personally, struggled with for many, many years. It's an association that still stings probably more than any of the other ones, and is the cause for, I'm sure, the majority of the overcompensation of most closet cases, and even a lot of "out" homosexuals who harbor a large degree of internalized homophobia, whether they're conscious of it or not.
Anyway, I can't imagine in my wildest dreams (nightmares?) that Mars, Inc. would make a commercial like this and not expect (or perhaps be deliberately courting) controversy. I'm glad people are raising a stink about it, but I do think it's slightly unwarranted. Well, at least in regards to the commercial itself. Maybe not to the publicity on their web site.
Ultimately, though, this is all so boring. Can we as a society please just move on? Exploiting any kind of minority, or people's fears of those minorities, is so unoriginal and cynical. For that reason alone, Mars should have to issue an apology, in my opinion.