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06/03/2010

Video: On gays, Al-Qaeda, and 'OH MY GOD, STOP DEBATING OUR PRESENCE ON EARTH!'

by Jeremy Hooper

When we showed you the suddenly "controversial" French McDonald's ad late last week, we opined that the ad would never run here at home. Last night on his show, Bill O'Reilly said the same thing. But whereas we said it with a sense of dismay, Bill said it with the exact sense of aggressive heterosexism that we were lamenting. Ya know -- because gays and Al-Qaeda are fit for direct comparison:


(h/t: Joe.My.God.)

Just the fact that we are debating the worth of this ad validates our point. Because all ads, for all kinds of products, have some sort of storyline. Smiling American families of four do all kinds of things to sell cars, toys, chips, sodas, etc. Life milestones like marriage, birth, and even death are used in marketing messages. Consumers relate to stories. For American consumers, those stories are ALWAYS hetero-specific.

So here we have one ad, part of a whole campaign geared around inclusivity, and it's somehow worthy of cable television debate simply because the young guy is craving a side of male beef along with his side of fries?! What the hell?!?!? Why is this any more controversial than that Folger's ad where the dad boasts about the dude who's marrying his daughter? Why are gay consumers, who are stereotypically painted as having lots of disposable income that they're willing to spend on consumer goods, somehow an unfit focus for a company's marketing plan?! Why is a male an unfit object of affection if it's another guy who's [::ba da ba ba ba::] loving it?

The only logical reason: Heterosexism. If one accepts gay people as a natural part of the world, and therefore part of the natural buying public, then there is no valid reason why he or she could see this TV spot as anything other than okay. Maybe you don't care for the ad on its merits (we've heard from some gay people who think the kid seems too closeted). But Bill (and other conservatives) are not focusing on the story arc: They are focusing on the story's mere existence. That is not okay!

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