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CBS' big gay Super Bowl commercial controversy

Jan 28, 2010, 4:00 PM EDT

We’ve heard about the controversial Super Bowl commercial that CBS has agreed to air; the anti-abortion spot featuring Tim Tebow and funded by James Dobson’s religious conservative organization, Focus on the Family. But what about the commercials the network is turning down? One is an ad for GoDaddy.com, in which a retired football player “finds his feminine side” and launches a lingerie company. A pro football player who appears to be gay? Not cool, CBS appears to be saying.
But the network is reportedly still considering a Super Bowl ad for ManCrunch.com, a dating site specifically for gay men. The ad features two men making out, and CBS has been involved in “days of deliberations” on whether to run it, says Fox News.com.
Video (of the GoDaddy ad) following the jump.

After days of deliberations on whether to run a controversial Super Bowl ad from gay dating site ManCrunch.com, CBS has not yet reached a decision.

The 30-second spot shows two men excitedly watching the game, before their hands brush as they both reach into a bowl of chips. Suddenly, the two begin making out, much to the shock of a guy sitting close by.

ManCrunch officials said they believe CBS has no intention of airing a commercial for their gay dating service, “but do not want to officially ‘reject’ the spot out of fear there may be a backlash from gay advocacy groups.”
Yet the following commercial has already been rejected by CBS:

Poor Lola.
So to recap: An anti-abortion ad funded by the virulent anti-gay religious organization Focus on the Family gets the nod, but a spot featuring an effeminate former football player is rejected. And on top of that, an ad for a gay men’s dating service seems to be DOA (if CBS was even really considering it at all. I have my doubts the story is even real).
At least we know where CBS stands on the social issues of the day. But now we see the downside of a two-week interval between the league championship games and the Super Bowl; it gives groups plenty of time to organize protests over CBS’ commercial policies.
I’m going to have to throw the challenge flag on these decisions, CBS. You’ve shown shocking, capricious inconsistency. What? Challenges in the final two minutes of a blog post have to come from the booth? Oh no you din’t! (finger snap) Uh, uhhhh!
***
CBS Considering Airing Gay Dating Site Ad During Super Bowl [Fox News]
Factions continue to bicker over Tebow Super Bowl ad [Out of Bounds]
Go Daddy ad rejected for Super Bowl [NBCSports]
Fox News: CBS May Air Gay Male Super Bowl Ad [SportsbyBrooks]

  1. Tony Metler - Jan 28, 2010 at 5:05 PM

    CBS – Consistently Bendable Standards? Changeable Broadcast Standards? Cautious But Sanctimonious?

  2. Tim - Jan 28, 2010 at 5:38 PM

    The only thing I can’t tolerate is intolerance. I can’t say I’d be terribly comfortable with any of these ads – although the GoDaddy ad actually seems funny to me – but unless I woke up in Iran this morning we all still live in a country that believes in freedom of speech. Thing is, as a public broadcaster I don’t think CBS has the right to make value judgements saying ‘this is OK and that isn’t. Wonder who’s broadcasting the game on radio? Probably CBS, hope MSNBC’s or ESPN’s coverage will be good enough, gonna hate not watching this one.

  3. Rick Chandler - Jan 28, 2010 at 6:05 PM

    +1, +1, +2.

  4. the queenie - Jan 28, 2010 at 8:29 PM

    I used to work for CBS back in the early 2000′s and we were always told it meant “Constant Bull S*$t”.
    Looks like not much has changed since then.

  5. Dee Mirich and the Supremes - Jan 28, 2010 at 8:55 PM

    Were the chips Doritos Chili Heatwave? Because I could see that … those things turn me on.

  6. Tony Metler - Jan 29, 2010 at 3:35 AM

    >>I used to work for CBS back in the early 2000′s and we were always told it meant “Constant Bull S*$t”. Looks like not much has changed since then.

  7. RODGERS22 - Jan 29, 2010 at 9:01 AM

    THE SUPER BOWL IS A TIME FOR FAMILY SPORTS. CHILDREN WILL BE WATCHING! WHY MUST ANY NETWORK SEIZE AN OPPORTUNITY TO HARM OUR CHILDREN WITH SUCH ADULT CONTENT! I WILL NOT WATCH SUPER BOWL 2010 IF THEY WILL AIR IT!
    IT IS SICK ENOUGH THAT MEN WHO ARE HOMOSEXUALS THINK THEY ARE NORMAL AND PLEASING TO ANYONE; EXCEPT OTHERS LIKE THEM…SICK!
    CBS…..YOU WILL PAY A PRICE FOR THIS DECISION. :-(

  8. RODGERS22 - Jan 29, 2010 at 9:03 AM

    THE SUPER BOWL IS A TIME FOR FAMILY SPORTS. CHILDREN WILL BE WATCHING! WHY MUST ANY NETWORK SEIZE AN OPPORTUNITY TO HARM OUR CHILDREN WITH SUCH ADULT CONTENT! I WILL NOT WATCH SUPER BOWL 2010 IF THEY WILL AIR IT!
    IT IS SICK ENOUGH THAT MEN WHO ARE HOMOSEXUALS THINK THEY ARE NORMAL AND PLEASING TO ANYONE; EXCEPT OTHERS LIKE THEM…SICK!
    CBS…..YOU WILL PAY A PRICE FOR THIS DECISION. :-(

  9. ObjectiveThinker - Jan 29, 2010 at 11:05 AM

    Maybe I’m mistaken, but I don’t recall any other dating website ads which feature heterosexual couples making out. Come to think of it, I can’t think of any commercials off the top of my head that have people really making out.
    Maybe its the making out part, and not the sexual orientation, that pushes this over the line. I’m sure if it was a gay version of an eHarmony ad, this gets greenlit in 2 seconds.
    Also, this is not a freedom of speech question. CBS, like any company, can determine who to do business with unless it violates equal protection. The Supreme Court has not recognized sexual orientation as a protected class under those laws. Therefore, this comes down to a business decision, and not a social question.

  10. Ponyboy - Jan 29, 2010 at 12:57 PM

    I haven’t missed a Super Bowl in the past 40 years but if the gay ad is going to show, the tv in my household will not be watching it.

  11. Mr. Regular - Jan 29, 2010 at 1:02 PM

    I THINK WE NEED TO STOP THE RECRUITMENT OF ARE KIDS WHILE THEY’RE STILL YOUNG. JUST LIKE THAT SONG YOU HATE,BUT HEAR ON THE RADIO ALL THE TIME AS HUMAN BEING WE KNOW IF YOU KEEP PLAYING IT YOU WILL END UP SINGING IT AFTER A WHILE. I FEEL SORRY FOR ARE KID AND WHAT THEY HAVE TO GO THREW. THIS IS A LIFE STYLE SITUATION
    STOP FORCE FEEDING US THIS STUFF.

  12. Tony Metler - Jan 29, 2010 at 1:16 PM

    Uh Oh! A couple of you fellas seem extra cranky today. Turn off the CAPS LOCK key and riddle me this: Two people you don’t know and will never harm you are offensive, but scantily clad women drinking more beer than is safe — you’re okay with that? Well, I must say I admire your family values. That is, if you’re the Manson Family.

  13. Nick - Jan 29, 2010 at 6:46 PM

    Most super bowl ads sell sex one way or another. It is interesting how some people are so angry and threatened by two men kissing. At least they are fully dressed. If it bothers you so much, why not use that 30 seconds to do something macho. Gay is not a lifestyle- ignorance is. Stupid me- I watch the Super Bowl for the football not the ads.

  14. Matthew Houser - Feb 6, 2010 at 2:48 PM

    You know I said the same thing about the right to life commercial. I will not be watching the super bowl this year, because of that reason.