ESPN Drops NBA Ad After Gay Rights Group Calls It "Homophobic"

Tuesday, February 03, 2009


Here we go again. Someone was trying to do something funny, and a special interest group takes offense. ESPN has apologized to both the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, and the Human Rights Campaign, for an add that featured commentator Mike Breen asking for a "Fist Kiss" from Shaquille O'Neal. Not only that, but they're dropping the ad entirely. Via Edge....

ESPN thought it was being clever when it unveiled a promotional ad the cable channel that showed basketball superstar Shaquille O’Neal rejecting a "fist kiss" (fist bump, really) from sports commentator Mike Breen. Instead, it unleashed a firestorm of protest.

Now, the channel has said it is sorry and will remove the ad, reports The Advocate. After Breen called it a "fist kiss," O’Neal moves away from Breen on the couch, and says, "No fist kiss, no fiss love, no fist hump. None of that. You’re a weirdo man. Stay over there. Fist kiss. Disgusting."

It was the latter word that got the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and the Human Rights Campaign hot under the collar.

GLAAD, in a statement, reported that ESPN responded to its objections with a statement of its own. "None are intended to be offensive to anyone or any community of people," ESPN’s statement said of its campaign. "Our intent is to send a positive message about the camaraderie of sports and to do so as creatively as we can."

The network added that "We understand your perspective on this ad and would like to apologize to the members of the gay community. In addition, we have decided to remove the ad from the campaign’s online executions. ESPN has a long-standing tradition of supporting diversity in the workplace and beyond. We are fully committed to continuing a dialogue that welcomes and recognizes diverse perspectives. We appreciate your bringing your concerns to our attention.
I always say that people should just apologize, and move on if they offend someone, but some of these requests are getting a bit ridiculous. I guess alls well that ends well, but you would think ESPN could have changed the ad instead of dropping it entirely.

ESPN Apologizes for, Removes ’Homophobic’ Ad

Posted by Awful Announcing at 4:18 PM

20 Comments:

Really? GLAAD doesn't have anything better to do? Nevermind. Working at GLAAD doesn't qualify as a real job, so no, they don't have anything better to do. But keep trying to get that gay marriage thing going. That's got TONS of support!

The Genius said...
Feb 3, 2009, 4:36:00 PM  

Everyone has to be accepting of the homosexual lifestyle, even if they find it weird, bizarre and creepy as fuck and being taught to 8 year olds.

hollywood wags said...
Feb 3, 2009, 4:45:00 PM  

Oh yeah, because all people are equal and unique snowflakes and it is important to embrace the diversity of all Americans, even poofs with questionable taste in sex acts.

The Genius said...
Feb 3, 2009, 4:51:00 PM  

WON'T SOMEONE PLEASE THINK OF THE STRAIGHT PEOPLE!!!

GMoney said...
Feb 3, 2009, 5:43:00 PM  

I HATE THE P.C. POLICE!

Sal said...
Feb 3, 2009, 5:49:00 PM  

Hm, maybe this will work:

Hey, FOX! I'm offended by Joe Buck, because he's homophobic!

And now we wait...

Doc Steel said...
Feb 3, 2009, 5:49:00 PM  

Wow, the collective intelligence in these comments is STAGGERING.

To the idiot above, YES, every 8 year old is taught alllllll about homosexuality and how great it is. You fucking moron.

Julian said...
Feb 3, 2009, 5:58:00 PM  

There's good gay jokes and there's bad gay jokes. I thought this one wasn't THAT bad, there's far worse out there, and going after the small stuff like this I think really hurts the gay cause among athletes. If I were them, I'd be concentrating a lot more on getting positive press and less on how others make jokes.

Talon Lardner said...
Feb 3, 2009, 6:52:00 PM  

I guess we just aren't smart enough to understand how this commercial hurt gay people so badly, so badly.

I bet they are hurt, and hurt very, very badly, and deeply hurt and emotionally scarred and suicidal by this commercial.

If we can't see how badly this commercial hurt people, then we are just stupid people.

Sure.

Heather has two mommies? Not taught to kids? Of course not.

hollywood wags said...
Feb 3, 2009, 7:24:00 PM  

It's awesome that this next generation is going to be infinitely more open-minded than your dumb ass. I'm guessing you voted McCain.

Julian said...
Feb 3, 2009, 7:42:00 PM  

I am getting SICK AND TIRED of seeing Stuart Scott in every flipping ESPN commercial. He must have a clause in his contract saying that he MUST be in them. Talk about your typical 'entitlement program.' And yeah, I hope he comes here and reads this.

Chris said...
Feb 3, 2009, 7:46:00 PM  

Are we this soft? Is this country this soft that a commercial has to be pulled because a group interpreted it as homophobic?


I could say "Hey the sky is blue!" and offend the color blind.


Not a good choice of words with "fist kiss", but GLAAD have to have something better to do.



Kinda fitting that we now live in a society where "tag" is being banned because a person is "it", making him/her a "target" and it could hurt their self-esteem.

SSReporters said...
Feb 3, 2009, 7:57:00 PM  

Hey Julian, last time we had an "open" President, Ronald Reagan was elected.

And yet no one came and murdered Siegfried and Roy...go figure.

Maybe GLAASDS didn't want the, you know, proclivities of it's members exposed too much.

hollywood wags said...
Feb 3, 2009, 10:00:00 PM  

....What? That didn't even begin to make sense. And thanks for accidentally confirming my suspicion that you were a McCain voter, and thus have no worthwhile opinions.

Julian said...
Feb 3, 2009, 10:45:00 PM  

John Amaechi...

FIRST!

Bigface said...
Feb 3, 2009, 11:07:00 PM  

No one cares Julian.

JFreak said...
Feb 3, 2009, 11:33:00 PM  

First of all, it's not meant to be derogatory towards homosexuals for being homosexual. He's not talking about homosexuals. He's talking about people shoving their fists in other peoples' asses. If you're homosexual or not, if you shove your fist in somebody's ass, male or female, why does Shaq not have a right to voice the opinion of the VAST majority of Americans who consider that disgusting?

AO said...
Feb 4, 2009, 9:28:00 AM  

So are they saying every male should view kissing another guy as not disgusting? That's fine, as long as they force the women to do the same.

Cole said...
Feb 4, 2009, 12:33:00 PM  

They aren't really dispelling any stereotypes by being this sensitve.

Cole said...
Feb 4, 2009, 12:48:00 PM  

Come on, being homophobic's the only way to go. No one bats an eye when we Mormons are belittled but you can't do one thing to disrespect faggots, oh wait I just did. Sweet!

Brad James said...
Feb 4, 2009, 1:51:00 PM  

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