Mars Inc. has pulled its newest television commercial for Snickers candy bars after communication with the Human Rights Campaign. "Following conversations between the Human Rights Campaign and senior Mars representatives, the company has agreed to pull its most recent ad using stereotypes of gay men to sell its Snickers product line," HRC workplace director Daryl Herrschaft said in a press release.
The ad depicts a man speed-walking in an effeminate manner reminiscent of gay male stereotypes. The walker is then ridiculed by Mr. T as the former wrestler shoots Snickers bars from a gun, telling him to "be a man."
"These kinds of acts perpetuate the notion that the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community is a group of second-class citizens and that violence against GLBT people is not only acceptable but humorous," Herrschaft said.
In 2007, another offensive Snickers commercial was aired during Super Bowl XLI. "Following that, HRC began a constructive dialogue with Mars on workplace inclusion for GLBT employees," Herrschaft said. "We were of course surprised to see the company return to the same practice it had just recently rejected."
However, "HRC applauds Mars for taking swift and appropriate action" in the removal of both commercials. "We are hopeful that Mars will make the necessary changes in their organization to ensure this does not happen yet again," Herrschaft said. (The Advocate)