After much controversy, the Snickers Kiss Superbowl ad has been pulled. The commercial will no longer appear on TV. In addition, the commercial and its alternate endings have also been removed from the snickers website.
The NFL and Snickers has come under criticism from various organizations including GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation). The controversy not only surrounds the actual commercial that aired during Sunday night’s Superbowl, but also the contest on the Snickers website. Visitors to the website were invited to view alternate endings to the commercial and vote on which one was their favorite.
The ending that aired during the Superbowl showed two mechanics working on a car. One of the mechanics pulls out a snickers and puts it in his mouth. The other mechanic then starts eating from the other end of the candy bar. The two men’s lips inadvertently meet in a “kiss”. One of the men exclaims “Quick, do something manly”. At this point both men pull hair from their chests.
While many found the commercial as it appeared offensive, perhaps the more offensive ending was one of the alternate endings that appeared on the Snickers website. In this version, instead of the men pulling hair from their chests, they pick up wrenches and start to beat one another with them. According to www.canada.com, Judy Shepard spoke out against this ending. You will remember that Judy Shepard’s son, Matthew Shepard, was beaten to death in 1998. She is quoted as saying “(It) encourages the same type of hate that led to the death of my son Matthew,” she said in a statement. “It essentially gives ‘permission’ to our society to verbally or physically harass individuals who are gay, lesbian or bisexual. In particular, I am dismayed that these players, who are role models to our young people, would participate in perpetuating such discrimination and prejudice.”
One of the alternate endings that is coming under scrutiny featured some NFL football players making faces that showed disgust after seeing the two mechanics accidentally kiss. This has caused the NFL to come under criticism for it’s role in the commercials. According to UK Gay News, Joe Solmonese (president of HRC) stated “This type of jeering from professional sports figures at the sight of two men kissing fuels the kind of anti-gay bullying that haunts countless gay and lesbian school children on playgrounds all across the country,”
The largest organization in the USA, The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), called for Snickers parent company to remove the offensive ads. Late Monday, Master Foods (the parent company of Snickers), announced that the articles would be removed. In a statement, Master Foods said it did not intend to offend anyone with the ads.