Tom Daley
Subscribe To
The Advocate
Scroll To Top

Samsung Pulls Ad Featuring Drag Queen After Religious Backlash

Vyla Virus and the drag perform with their mother

Tech company Samsung has pulled an ad in Singapore showing a Muslim mother supporting and hugging her son, who is dressed in drag.

Social media users had criticized the ad as “an attempt to push LGBT ideology,” reports the BBC.

In a social media post on Wednesday, the company said it understands the ad could “be perceived as insensitive and offensive.”

The ad was meant to feature Samsung’s new wearable products, such as its noise-canceling earphones, as well as a smartwatch with a heart rate monitor. In the commercial, several people listen to messages from loved ones. One of the pairs includes a mother in her headscarf who listens to a message from her son, a drag artist.

“Dear mother, not many will have such an understanding and open-minded mom like you, and my heart can’t thank you enough. You are just unbothered having people looking or judging you differently, having a son that does drag,” the son tells his mother.

In a video on Instagram, the drag artist featured in the ad, known as Vyla Virus, said it was nothing more than an example of a mother’s devotion to her child.

“It’s all about mother’s love in that video; nothing else was mentioned, but nonetheless thank you so much for the concern, and I love you guys so much. Do spread the love. Love is love,” Virus said in a video out of drag. 

LGBTQ+ groups in Singapore voiced support for the ad and disappointment that Samsung pulled it.

“It was the first-of-its-kind video coming from a minority group on a relationship between mother and son [and] was so affirming,” Hilmi, a center manager at local LGBTQ+ organization Oogachaga, told the BBC.

“As a queer Malay man, I am saddened to see a video that expresses unconditional love [being] taken down abruptly due to societal pressure from a group of people with conservative values,” Hilmi said.

“To date, it is still unclear what these people were offended by — the fact that LGBTQ+ people exist in Singapore, or that we are deserving of loving relationships, or both. LGBTQ+ people deserve love from our families, just like everyone else,” LGBTQ+ rights group Pink Dot Singapore said, reports the Southeast Asia news site Coconuts. “We should also be able to express these loving relationships freely, regardless of those who want to shame us back into silence simply because they find us offensive.”

Tags: Business, World

From our Sponsors

READER COMMENTS ()
    Watch Now: Pride Today
    Trending Stories & News