This post is also available in: Spanish
Lube company Boy Butter’s newest commercial won’t be airing during it’s allotted time-slot during RuPaul’s Drag Race in Chicago. The reason? It’s too gay.
A few weeks ago, the topic of Drag Race moving to VH1 came up with some of my friends. One friend joked, “But I want my lube commercials!” Sure, he was kidding, but he made a good point. It’s nice to watch a show and see our community on TV, not just in the Drag Race workroom but also in the advertising sponsoring it. From bears in Nasty Pig jockstraps to campy queens pushing Orbitz, I actually don’t mind watching commercials when Drag Race is on.
Because of its success, Viacom moved Drag Race from Logo to VH1.
So what happens to our gay advertising?
On their blog, Boy Butter founder Eyal Feldman suggests Comcast told them they wouldn’t be able to air the spot in Chicago because it’s too gay.
I learned that my brand new Boy Butter commercial, currently airing on this season of RuPaul’s Drag Race on VH1 in NYC, LA, San Diego and nationwide on Canada’s OutTV was banned from airing on cable TV in Chicago. According to Comcast TV in the so-called liberal windy city of Chicago, [they]did not think viewers could handle the level of gayness in this ad starring sexy ginger, Seth Fornea, who is showing us all how to properly use a butter churn. One would think that in the Midwest the sight of a butter churn would bring back nostalgic feelings of nearby dairy farms, but alas, if a gay man is churning that butter, not so much.
“I think it’s Chicago’s loss and a clear representation of how shamed and stigmatized our sexuality is.” says Daniel Robinson, the director/producer of the banned Boy Butter commercial.
Fornea has previously worked as an erotic model in shoots with COLT Studio Group, DNA magazine and Rick Day.
“Even though this ad is meant to be aired on a drag queen contest reality show on VH1 at night, that distinction matters not when homophobia and sexism rear their ugly heads. It’s also possible the big budget ads of Burger King or Carl’s Junior helps them skirt the prudish censorship rules, but it still does not feel fair.”
“My hope is that by continuing to push the boundaries of what is acceptable and palatable on TV, Boy Butter can create a space where gay men can watch images of themselves, not only in the shows that we watch but also the advertising that sponsors them.”
Feldman refers to the ads of big companies like Carl Jr’s being considered socially acceptable. But when you replace the woman with a gay man, it’s inappropriate and banned. “A sexy busty woman being suggestive and showing a lot of skin is fine but if you just replace that woman with a gay man, it is a much different story,” he writes.
Comcast reps have yet to get back to us.