The Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the nation’s largest gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, announced Mars Inc. will pull a controversial TV ad for Snickers which features a man whose appearance and actions – speed walking in an exaggerated manner – conjure up stereotypes of gay men. The man is then ridiculed by Mr. T who appears shooting Snickers bars out of a gun and admonishing the jogger to be a “real man.”
Statement from HRC Workplace Director Daryl Herrschaft:
“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 applauds Mars for taking swift and appropriate action.
In 2007, another distasteful Snickers advertisement was aired during Super Bowl XLI. The company subsequently pulled the ad. Following that, HRC began a constructive dialogue with Mars on workplace inclusion for GLBT employees. We were of course surprised to see the company return to the same practice it had just recently rejected.
These kinds of ads 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. We are hopeful that Mars will make the necessary changes in their organization to ensure this does not happen yet again.”