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Stop snickering

Posted by Richard on February 8, 2007

I heard last night that Mars pulled the Super Bowl Snickers ad (which showed two mechanics sharing a Snickers bar and accidently kissing) because of complaints. I assumed that the complaints came from Focus on the Family, the Christian Coalition, Don Wildmon, Ralph Reed, Pat Robertson, and the like. I figured all the usual Christian-right folks would complain that this ad furthered the "gay agenda" and undermined "traditional values."

Boy, was I wrong:

Three gay rights organizations condemned the commercial as homophobic, arguing that the men’s reaction (they tear out their chest hair to prove they’re really "manly") demeans gay men.

Worse, the groups said, were the alternative endings that Snickers included on its Web site as part of a contest to determine which version would air during the Daytona 500 later this month.

In one ending, one of the characters grabs a wrench to beat the other, who responds by slamming a car hood down on the other guy’s head. A second ending shows members of the Indianapolis Colts and Chicago Bears reacting with amusement and disgust to the "kiss."

"I don’t know what kind of mind-set it takes to think it’s okay to slug another guy because of a mistaken kiss," said Neil G. Giuliano, president of Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, which objected to the ad. "It’s just unacceptable."

This strikes me as just way, way off base. How in the world does the men’s reaction demean gay men? If the ad demeaned anybody, it was blue-collar rednecks!

Memo to the humor-impaired: the ad clearly poked fun at these guys for being so insecure and silly and homophobic! Ripping out their chest hair or beating on each other to prove they’re "manly"? We aren’t supposed to emulate these guys, for crying out loud! We’re supposed to laugh at them for being such yahoos, and I’m astonished that people in the gay rights community don’t get that.

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