Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I’ll miss the Angus Burgers but I won’t miss the bigotry

Well, this certainly is a rotten turn of events. McDonalds COO Don Thompson says, regarding the absolutely charming French McDonalds ad featuring the gay kid that went viral recently, “[T]hat commercial won’t show in the United States." Without irony, moments before he says this, as he preps us for that lovely declaration, he says, "I’ve never shied away from the fact that I’m a Christian. I have my own personal beliefs and I don’t impose those on anybody else."

Well, I have my own personal beliefs about where I spend my money for greasy fast food, and it will no longer be with McDonalds and their Christianist-bigot corporate staff. This article at The Edge Boston (from which the above quotes were taken) goes on to present a more rational look at how marketing and advertising should work in this era:

At, Thomas Kostigen wrote in his June 4 Ethics Watch column that the move’s reflection of "inclusive advertising" was as step in the right direction for a host of reasons.

"Companies should advertise to reach the largest number of customers for their products," Kostigen write. "Sexual orientation should just be another demographic in the mix, and just as with all the other groups, advertising should be done well. Yet there is a larger social responsibility when dealing with certain groups and minorities; a bigger, positive message can be had."

Kostigen went on to write that, "it’s important for companies to think beyond the aspect of commercialism and see the larger social benefit in advertising to, and hopefully attracting more customers based on minority status: they are in a subtle, powerful and effective way saying: ’It’s OK who you are. You are welcome here.’ "

I cannot get this quote, which I heard back when this story first broke, out of my head:

Though the ad has yet to air outside of France, the executive director of the Canadian equality group EGALE, Helen Kennedy, praised the spot, saying, "It’s very encouraging for gay youth to see themselves reflected in such mainstream media."

I can’t imagine how much a commercial like this would have meant to me back when I was the age of the boy in the ad. I can imagine how much it might mean to a gay teen in the U.S. today. To all the bigots out there: someday the citizens of this nation will look back on this period of religious-based hatred that you represent, and like your racist predecessors you will be covered with shame and reprobation.

As for Mickey D’s, I’ll miss the Angus Burgers but I won’t miss the bigotry.

"Gay-Positive French McDonald’s Ad Won’t Air in U.S." (The Edge Boston)


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