Just recently, the internet giant Google purchased ninety seconds of airtime showing a video compilation from Dan Savage’s “It Gets Better” project – a pro-gay campaign designed to encourage gays who experience harassment or discrimination that things will get better. So what does this have to do with Google? I don’t know. I don’t understand why a massive, public company reaches down into the giant pot of social, moral and economic issues and pulls out this one, promoting the homosexual agenda while also promoting their internet browser – Google Chrome. The connection between the two is unclear – maybe Chrome provides a better gay experience on the web? I highly doubt Google was trying to market Chrome to a gay audience.
The other thing that is completely shocking about this commercial is who appeared in it – Woody, the beloved character from Toy Story! In the ad, Woody, presumably speaking to a gay audience says, “You’ll be fine partner”. So Pixar, the famous studio that creates all of our favorite animations has a taken an emphatic, public stance on the issue. I wonder if they would have allowed Woody to appear if there were more Toy Stories to come.
And don’t confuse this as a simple anti-bullying campaign which I wholly support. If it were actually an anti-bullying/harassment commercial – it wouldn’t have just featured gay or pro-gay people (except poor Woody). As unacceptable as bullying is, gays are not the only people to be harassed or bullied for how they look or what they believe or how they live their life.
Google (and Pixar) are not the first large companies to do this. Earlier this year, Adobe Photoshop launched their own similar video while highlighting a selection of gay employees at Adobe. The video was released on the Photoshop website and the official Photoshop Facebook page where it met a mixed and heated reaction. Plenty of Photoshop fans disliked the fact that the product they love and use daily was now being used to promote something that they perhaps didn’t agree with. Adobe, like a Google, is a public company, not some private social commentator.
Do these view points wholly represent the companies and their employees, investors, stockholders and customers – I think not. It’s not an understood fact that when people invest in these companies, they are supporting a particular worldview. If it was understood that, by supporting Google or Adobe, you would be supporting a pro-gay perspective than I think many people wouldn’t support them.
Ultimately, I think both companies, especially Google, who largely facilitates the social and information environment on the web should refrain from taking a side. I expect companies of this size to be objective and provide the services that they are supposed to. Imagine if Google decided to get a little more active in promoting the gay agenda or combating perceived threats to gays – it could simply remove traces of disagreement from it’s search results, it could put opposition in the digital dark. Would people find it appropriate if Ford or Microsoft launched a pro-gay campaign?
So why not just say that bullying is bad in every instance instead of favoring one group with this message. It makes you wonder whose running things in these companies.
Also read: Dan Savage’s Target DemographicAdvertisement