Is Mr. Sub’s “Dad Is Gay” Ad Really That Homophobic?

Mr. Sub, a sandwich restaurant chain up north in “Canadia,” ordered up this spot to showcase how its sandwiches would always stay the same, unlike dad, who might come out as “super, super gay.” The punchline: Not everybody likes surprises. This got a lot of folks upset.

Cue the Facebook group threatening a boycott or whatever, and now Mr. Sub found a sheep to slaughter: Its ad agency BOS, which Mr. Sub just fired. (Let’s be sure: Mr. Sub approved the ad BOS created.)

This ad wasn’t even supposed to air on TV until next year. Making its debut online with two other television spots (.mov files here and here), the campaign ratcheted up some unwanted publicity for, supposedly, promoting homophobia. (Interestingly, it was some LGBT employees at Canadian Auto Workers who started the anti-Mr. Sub campaign.)

But here’s the thing: The ad is clever. And interpreted the right way — like, say, by the gay loving Canadians — it can be funny! Listen: Dad coming out is a big surprise. And sure, the ad attaches a negative connotation to it, but it’s cute, and not derogatory. We’re kind of upset with our own queer brethren over this one. Can’t we inject some gay humor into commercial marketing without overreacting ad nauseum? Who are we, GLAAD?

(NB: What is it with sandwich makers and super, super gay advertising?)