The Super Bowl ad war has devolved into the hottest of messes. As it stands right now, the anti-choice Focus on the Family ad will air, while progressives are left complaining that a fledgling man-on-man hookup site’s ad isn’t also airing … Really? This is not how this was supposed to go down.
The decision to air the Tim Tebow anti-choice ad is so enraging because CBS previously rejected an ad by the United Church of Christ (UCC) that was not only LGBT-inclusive, but it was also a beautifully produced ad that presented an important message. The UCC ad actually has a chance of changing the hearts and minds of people who watch it. Unfortunately in this Super Bowl season, we don’t have the luxury of fighting for this ad to air:
The fact that this ad was rejected by CBS for advocacy, while the Focus ad is allowed to air is a travesty and CBS should be held responsible.
Unfortunately, the debate has veered off course because a site called ManCrunch saw the opportunity to face off against the Focus on the Family ad and hit the publicity jackpot in the process. I was initially excited and thought we were back in the game, until I watched the ad: Two straight guys fake kissing while their friend freaks out. This is the ad we are supposed to fight for? This is the ad that we want 100 million people to see?
The ManCrunch ad has (thankfully) been rejected by CBS, prompting many “gay dating site rejected” headlines. From everything I can tell, “gay dating site” is quite the misnomer – perhaps, “closeted hook up site” is more fitting. No one seems to actually know anything about this site. It doesn’t appear to be targeting openly gay men, its website says it is for men on the “down low.” Great. Not only does it make people less inclined to vote for LGBT equality, it also encourages people to not live openly and honestly about being gay.
The ManCrunch ad is unfortunately not the worst LGBT-adjacent Super Bowl spot to be rejected by CBS – that crown belongs to GoDaddy.com, which features a former football player who changes his name to Lola so he can pursue fashion design and exhibit every super-gay stereotype that exists.
It should be stated that neither ManCrunch or GoDaddy are as bad as the Snickers ads that were allowed to air during the 2007 Super Bowl. These ads featured two guys who are compelled to “do something manly” after they accidentally kiss. Even worse, Snickers showed footage on their site that showed the predictable negative reactions of players from the Colts and the Bears after they watched the commercials.
The Focus on the Family ad has not yet been released, but it undoubtedly is extremely well-produced and tailor made for the movable middle voting bloc. Just like the UCC ad was. Keep the conversation focused on UCC – don’t let ManCrunch hijack the discussion.
And lastly, as a gay man who is also a rabid sports fan, I call upon any LGBT advocates with the means available to start working on a 2011 Super Bowl commercial that actually advances the movement for LGBT equality.
Photo credit: Adam Amel Rogers