Over the last year, we watched as American conservatives threw tantrums and staged multiple faux outrage jamborees (or what they thought were sensible protests) over and over. These tantrums seem oddly and disproportionately centered around food and tv commercials. Such is the way with conservatives -always awaiting their next directive from their favorite authority figures -who send them to post perfunctory disapproving comments on social media. They are always at the ready to threaten that they, who they still believe are a superior moral majority, will not give their dollars to those companies that support diversity, and especially not to the LGBT community. It’s also very telling that their protests are almost always done with cookie cutter cut-and-paste responses that they have been told about by their chosen authority, without any basic research on the facts of the particular matter -something that makes trolling a smorgasbord of delight for the liberal social media crowd.
A few of the commercials that stirred the rallying cries of the far right this past year were a Cheerios commercial, an It Gets Better campaign for suicidal teens from Doritos , some gay dads featured for charitable work in a magazine, a Tylenol commercial, a Campbell’s Soup commercial, or somelesbians eating some yogurt. This is just a few. One of my favorites was the protest of Target stores for not directing people to toys with signs so they would know which gender would like a Barbie. It was an amazing year for trolls on social media, because conservatives were losing their shit on a daily basis over some food commercial or another. They were sent into battle by right-wing darlings like Mike Huckabee, or Pat Robertson, or Franklin Graham, or one of the 2016 GOP Presidential hopefuls – sadly and disgustingly. I’m sure you can recount your experiences on social media and how astounding it was each time the right wing crowd staged another faux outrage hoopla. I wonder if they felt that they had accomplished something?
Recently a British fan of our page let me know that in the UK, two ads that were quite prominent never received any attention at all. Nothing, in comparison to the US. Which begs the question: Why is it specific to the US that advertising is such a battleground for inclusion and diversity? These two commercial exaples are: Gareth Thomas, a Rugby player who made a commercial about telling his team he was gay.
From our friend in England: “When Gareth Thomas came out there was a positive news take and the usual small minority of negativity. The only comment I read on the Guinness ad was positive. Also look at the comments on YouTube. The Gareth Thomas ad had 905 likes and 58 dislikes. The comments are mostly positive.”
Another example is this ad about a black football coach buying a house with his impregnated white wife (or girlfriend?) Our English friend: “The Halifax advert receive no mention in the press and I can not remember a single comment from anyone. I will post on my page to ask if anyone can remember any comments at all. There may have been something somewhere and we have many right wing racist political parties. . But they have no real audience. The advert had 19 comments, most negative. There were 5 likes and 14 dislikes. In a nation of 62 million people only 19 cared enough to protest on YouTube.”
So compare and contrast: Americans losing their collective Cheerios over just seeing gay couples depicted on TV, vs. England, where hardly a brow is raised. It is perplexing that here in the US, the staging ground for the Culture Wars revolves around TV, but on the other hand, maybe it tells us that superficial battles, distractions, and silliness is actually more important here. And why would that be? Could it be because GOP politicians have been using hysteria, fear, and hate to rally their base for decades? It seems pretty clear to me that all the hype around these ads is a symptom of the larger problem: Americans are content to be distracted by wedge issues rather than confront important issues affecting the whole population. We are being divided, and it’s working. Until we recognize our common humanity and work for the benefit of all in society, we will continue to make mountains out of molehills.
For more content, please http://imaginarygayagenda.businesscatalyst.com/tablet/index.html