Here we go again. Last year it was the Snickers commercial that some gays got into an uproar about. Now Richard Simmons has some of them upset. Bridgestone released an ad for the game that features a driver trying to avoid a deer and Alice Cooper (odd, but whatever) standing in the middle of the road. Then, when he comes to (even more strange) Richard Simmons leading an exercise routine in the middle of the road at night, the driver accelerates for a moment, the swerves to miss Simmons.
The editor of AfterElton calls it homophobic. Mike Wilke of Commercial Closet stops short of calling it homophobic and instead raises various questions about the ad. He talked with an out ad exec at Bridgestone who said: "The humor in this ad has nothing to do with sexuality. I don't know if he's ever come out publicly or not, and he clearly knew the content of the spot."
I couldn't agree more. Simmons isn't a 'gay' figure. He transcends sexuality. He is first and foremost Richard Simmons, regarded by many as one of the most annoying people on the planet. The desire to run over him (and remember, the driver DIDN'T run over him) isn't because he's gay, it's because he's Richard Simmons. You could have had Carrot Top . . . or Carson Kressley . . . there and gotten the same effect. Sexuality wasn't a part of the equation, and it'd be nice if some people stopped trying to make it part of the discussion every time a feminine person hits the TV screen. In case you haven't been reading this Web site for the last eight years, feminine does not equal gay; and every cry about a feminine man on TV from the gay community reinforces that we believe the stereotype.
There were a couple other spots that are getting some gays riled up, but none of them as much as the Simmons ad because, after all, it involves Richard Simmons. -Cyd Zeigler jr.