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.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.
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.
ESPN Apologizes for, Removes ’Homophobic’ Ad