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Drag queens ‘make history’ in Super Bowl advert as Corporate America toes the line on virtue-signaling

Robert Bridge
Robert Bridge

Robert Bridge is an American writer and journalist. He is the author of the book, 'Midnight in the American Empire,' released in 2013. Follow him on Twitter @Robert_Bridge

Robert Bridge is an American writer and journalist. He is the author of the book, 'Midnight in the American Empire,' released in 2013. Follow him on Twitter @Robert_Bridge

Drag queens ‘make history’ in Super Bowl advert as Corporate America toes the line on virtue-signaling
This week, the US marked yet another ‘cultural milestone’ as cross-dressing males were featured in an advert during Super Bowl LIV. Why are companies pandering to radical liberal agendas that risk alienating their consumer base?

This week I stumbled headlong into one of those jarring headlines, courtesy of The Washington Post, that was impossible to walk away from without medical attention: ‘Drag queens will make Super Bowl history in a hummus commercial.’ It’s these sorts of stories that make me remember exactly how long I’ve been away from home.

In the article, we are introduced to Sang-Young Shin — better known as Kim Chi in the world of drag — and Maxwell Heller, aka Miz Cracker, two regular attractions on RuPaul’s Drag Race television show. Now the two queens are about to be propelled to All-Star celebrity status as the Super Bowl spokespersons for some hummus brand that I will not advertise here.

The queens’ landmark [commercial with the Super Bowl] is another sign of how the show has transformed the art of drag from nightclub delight to a profitable, mainstream enterprise,” the Post gushed. 

The article conspicuously steered clear of the bigger story, however, and that is whether featuring drag queens during America’s most famous sporting event may offend the sensibilities among some of the more conservative fans. Nor did the authors seek to find out if this is really the best message to be sending to children and adolescents, who will certainly be in the audience. The Post, like the overwhelming majority of other media, has nothing but glowing words for this latest cultural train wreck.

For the uninitiated, the Super Bowl is the most-watched television event in the US, with up to 100 million people watching the championship football game each year. In 2015, a record 114 million Americans tuned in. Thus, it should come as no surprise that the Super Bowl is also one of the main corporate events of the year. This year companies will spend around $5 million for a 30-second spot in the hope that consumers will be staring at their televisions and not refrigerators as the commercials are beaming into living rooms nationwide. However, since these corporate messages will reach tens of millions of people, the content of those advertisements should be of paramount concern to everyone. In the past, it wasn’t necessary to consider such things since corporations were hesitant about challenging society's traditions, morals and sensibilities as they do now with great relish.

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Drag goes mainstream, without public debate

It needs to be remembered that America did not invent drag queens. 'Female impersonators’ have been around for centuries, if not millennia, and certainly long before America was a place on the map. In the United States, as elsewhere, special venues were set aside where any adult — and ‘adult’ is the important word here — could pay admission to watch one of these vaudeville performances. Drag queen performances hit some tough times during the Progressive Era of the 1890s and 1920s, incidentally, when the entertainment was connected to homosexuality, then considered a crime in many states. 

Now, suddenly, in the toxic spirit of these ‘woke’ times - which is really the wrong term, since so many people are asleep at the wheel - drag queens, as well as transgender ideology have slipped quietly into the mainstream without anyone applying the brakes for that critical speed bump known as ‘public debate.’ In fact, to even venture to ask if such sexually tainted exhibitions are socially acceptable is to risk being bashed as a ‘bigot’ and a ‘hater,’ which is of course a lame way of winning any argument.

Yet the issue goes beyond that of Super Bowl commercials featuring drag queens, as problematic as that may be. Today, many public schools and libraries are hosting reading sessions performed by female impersonators. In case you may be wondering why this is even necessary, the Brooklyn Public Library has an answer: “Drag Queen Story Hour captures the imagination and play of the gender fluidity in childhood and gives kids glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models.”

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But has anyone bothered to ask how many elementary school kids, some of whom are too young to tie up their shoelaces, are sitting around fretting over their ‘gender identity’? Yet we as a society are allowing drag queens, armed with their twisted reading material, to plant that incredibly complex question into the undeveloped and highly impressionable minds of the youth.

The real problem is not with drag queens per se. The problem stems from the fact that there has been no real national debate with regards to this ongoing ‘hyper-sexualization’ now occurring in every corner of society. In fact, it's being pushed from every media as a perfectly normal thing. Few authority figures are asking if children should be exposed to such ideas. Instead, these concepts are being forced on the public from above, not from the grassroots level.

Companies should sell products, not agendas

This year's Super Bowl marks an advertising anniversary, although the media is not talking much about it. In 1980, a commercial was aired during Super Bowl XIV that won national acclaim as one of the best Super Bowl ads of all time. The spot featured Pittsburgh Steeler ‘Mean’ Joe Greene as he was shown limping towards the locker room in the midst of a game. A young boy follows after Greene, and after several attempts succeeds in getting the famous player to take the Coca-Cola he is offering him. After gulping down the carbonated sugar water, Greene turns and famously exclaims, “Hey kid, catch!” as he tosses the bewildered boy his football jersey. No virtue-signaling, no pandering to political ideology, no agenda other than selling a product, exactly as it should be.

Unfortunately, those days of straightforward, no-nonsense capitalism are coming to a screeching end. Today, corporations are far more concerned about promoting a controversial agenda — even if that means alienating a large segment of their target audience. In fact, in many cases the product is barely featured in the ads, as was the case with a recent Gillette commercial that took a decisively cheap shot at ‘toxic masculinity.’ Judging by the overwhelmingly negative response the commercial attracted on YouTube (1.3 million thumbs down), you would think that corporations would take the hint and just stick to doing what they do best, which is selling a product.  

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In the span of just a few months, however, we’ve gone from Gillette lecturing to their hirsute consumer base about the inherent dangers of ’toxic masculinity,’ to a hummus company employing drag queens to hawk their product during what could be considered one of the most 'toxically masculine' sports in the world — American football.

As far as I can tell, such messages aimed at the American consumer makes absolutely no sense. My gratuitous advice to corporate America is to steer clear of the ridiculous virtue signaling and agenda-seeking, which has become painfully transparent to most people as nothing more than naked opportunism. 

@Robert_Bridge

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

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