Making a mountain out of a mole-hill…

Many of you may have already seen the recently released Heinz
mayonnaise advertisement
(we blogged about it
earlier in the week
), which features a man in a New York
deli-style outfit making two kids, who refer to him as “mum,”
sandwiches. The commercial finishes with the man’s partner
leaving for work, and a (chaste—especially compared with the
heterosexual kisses that are shown regularly on tv) goodbye kiss is
shared between them.

The ad is cute and lighthearted, and the fact that it even got made
is a positive step. It shows our families doing just what every
other family does: making the kids lunch, going to work, giving
each other a kiss and a hug goodbye. Now, the ad wasn’t even
scheduled to air in America—Heinz knew enough to know that
conservative groups here would never let them get away with it. It
was scheduled to air in London, and did for about a week (out of
the scheduled five week run).

However, Heinz just announced that they are taking the ad off
of the air due to “consumer feedback” (they received about 200
complaints) and apologized to anyone the ad had offended. It is
disappointing that Heinz caved to pressure that quickly: the kiss
is not graphic, much less sexual than much of what is shown on
television, and for people concerned about explaining same-sex
relationships to their children (although as far as I’m
concerned, the earlier kids learn about different kinds of
families, the better), the ad wasn’t even showing on children’s
programming due to restrictions on advertising high fat food to
children. The British gay rights group Stonewall has
also expressed disappointment at the decision to pull the ad.

It is absurd to me that people are still making this big of a deal
about a kiss. There are a lot of other things going on in the
world—you would think that parents would be more concerned about
exposing their kids to the violence they see every day on the news
than to a simple kiss. It is disappointing that some people are so
uncomfortable with a same-sex relationship that they cannot even
bear to have it on television, and it is even more disappointing
that Heinz gave in so easily to the pressure.