PR stunts are undermining gay discrimination

As reported Friday, ManCrunch.com, a gay dating website, is voicing anger against CBS after it's commercial was denied a Super Bowl XLIV slot, because it didn't meet the network stardards for Super Bowl Sunday. Sounds like another case of discrimination? Think again.
Simon Husted is a sophomore newspaper journalism major and the web editor for ThatGayMagazine.com (courtesy of Caitlin Sirse)

Gay content has a long history of discrimination and exclusion by media outlets. There were times when writers in theatre or hollywood would get prosecuted if their piece had any gay themes or characters. Schools would also ban any books that used such themes. Even today, programs and especially ads containing gay content receive scrutiny from social conservatives claiming such content taints society.

It’s very tragic then when a company exploits this issue for its own publicity, meanwhile disguising its motive as some innocent crusade trying to break social norms.

As reported Friday, ManCrunch.com, a gay dating website, is voicing anger against CBS after it’s commercial was denied a Super Bowl XLIV slot, because it didn’t meet the network stardards for Super Bowl Sunday.  Sounds like another case of discrimination? Think again.

As the HuffingtonPost reports, CBS believes the ManCrunch ad wasn’t a sincere offer but a ploy to generate free publicity, which it got, earning attention from USA Today, The New York Post and other major news outlets.

Lets have you be the judge:

It’s safe to say anyone with any small amount of media literacy skill can tell this ad was designed purely as a PR stunt. It’s clearly low budget, uncreative and its gay elements are in your face. This Toronto-based website probably had no intention to purchase any ad slot. All they want is get their name out in the gay community, and they’ve successfully done that.

I hope their free publicity was worth the struggles future ad and programming campaigns will encounter when they sincerely try to break social norms and reverse the unfair standards against media content.

At the very least, I know one dating site I’ll remember to avoid.

– Simon Husted

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