Chicago can’t handle Seth Fornea’s sexy butter churning skills—because he’s gay.
“One would think that in the Midwest the sight of a butter churn would bring back nostalgic feelings of nearby dairy farms, but alas if a gay man is churning that butter, not so much.”
Comcast Chicago banned a Boy Butter commercial that is currently airing on this season of Rupaul’s Drag Race on VH1 in NYC, LA, San Diego and nationwide on Canada’s OutTV according to Boy Butter. “One would think that in the Midwest the sight of a butter churn would bring back nostalgic feelings of nearby dairy farms,” Boy Butter CEO Eyal Feldman penned, “but alas if a gay man is churning that butter, not so much.”
Boy Butter is a personal lubricant for gay men. We reached out to Comcast for comment but they have yet to respond.
Chicago banning the Boy Butter commercial highlights a double standard against gay men
Comcast Chicago’s ban showcases a larger problem of double standards toward gay men in society, which OutBuzz has frequently encountered. If you replace imagery featuring suggestive pretty woman with men, it immediately becomes NSFW. The only acceptable version of gay in society is still that of the sanitized gay. Gays in wigs and dresses? Couldn’t be funnier. Gays kissing and holding hands? Squirm uncomfortably in chair and look away.
Only a sanitized desexualized depiction of gay men is acceptable
Even many straight “allies” become uncomfortable at the sight of intimacy between two men—something that wouldn’t raise an eyebrow if it were between a man and a woman. Many of OutBuzz’s own campaigns have been rejected and banned on the basis of violating the community standards of various social media and advertising networks—while similar ads by Men’s Health that feature women in far more suggestive situations are deemed fine.
Take for example Carl Jr’s 2015 Super Bowl Commercial, which aired on national television. The spot is full of sexual innuendos and features Charlotte McKinney parading around naked to the merriment of the straight male passersby. It is essentially soft-core pornography, and it aired on the most watched event of the entire year. The Boy Butter ad, far more reserved than the Carl Jr spot, was only going to air on RuPaul’s Drag Race—hardly a conservative demographic.
We must keep pushing to normalize gay narratives and imagery
No matter how uncomfortable the thought may make straight people and advertising network censors, there is nothing shameful about being gay and having gay sex. Rejecting commercials like this while permitting far more sexualized versions depicting women only serve to push gays back into the sexual closet.
“I think it’s Chicago’s loss and a clear representation of how shamed and stigmatized our sexuality is.” said Daniel Robinson, the director/producer of this banned Boy Butter commercial. “Even though this ad is meant to be aired on a drag queen contest reality show on VH1 at night, that distinction matters not when homophobia and sexism rear their ugly heads. It’s also possible the big budget ads of Burger King or Carl’s Junior helps them skirt the prudish censorship rules but it still does not feel fair. My hope is that by continuing to push the boundaries of what is acceptable and palatable on TV, Boy Butter can create a space where gay men can watch images of themselves, not only in the shows that we watch but also the advertising that sponsors them.