Popeye dropping Olive Oyl for Bluto?

BY Advocate.com Editors

May 11 2001 11:00 PM ET

According to The Hollywood Reporter, a recent addition to www.commercialcloset.org, an online archive of gay-, lesbian-, and transgender-related advertising, is a Minute Maid ad featuring Popeye and Bluto playing together on a see-saw, getting matching tattoos, then finally riding off into the sunset on a tandem bicycle, leaving an ignored and frustrated Olive Oyl on the curb. Although it would seem as if the ad couldn’t be more blatantly gay, some accuse Michael Wilke, executive director of the nonprofit Commercial Closet Association, of perhaps reading too much into it. He says, “It’s not all in my mind. Others point these out to me. And certainly other advertising critics have noted what I did in the Popeye ad.” Other ads, such as the European one for Iglo frozen foods, make no bones about the relationship between the men in the ad. Also recently added to the archive is a new Miller Lite spot, which features two women flirting with two men at a bar until they notice that the men are holding hands. Wilke says the ad is notable not only for its content but the fact that it will be aired on ESPN and during major sporting events, which is “pushing the envelope.”

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