Manwich Reminds Customers: Musical-Loving Queers Do Not Eat Our Product (Update: They’re Sorry!)

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Because there is only one definition of how to be a man, sloppy joe sandwich sauce maker Manwich, made by ConAgra Foods, Inc. and Hunt’s, is following the Guinness beer lessons in advertising: depict any man who doesn’t fit a rigid definition of dudeness as some nelly queen who deserves to be slapped. We’ve been through this before, but let us reiterate: Advertising that portrays fey-er men as somehow less than, or not tough enough, is cheap. It’s also harmful. Kids see this stuff. Not all of them fit into neat little gender stereotypes. And while perhaps it’s silly to think makers of a product named Manwich could consider how its brand is perpetuating homophobia — this ad literally has a man who enjoys musicals getting beat up for it — at the very least the spot can be used to engage in a conversation about how to rethink what it is to be a man. UPDATE: ConAgra flack Jeff Mochal says the company is pulling the spots. “We apologize. It was not meant to offend. The ads were never on TV and were not part of a some multimillion-dollar ad buy. As soon as we became aware of them we pulled them down.” As of this writing, they are not down. And just in case they are, we’ve saved local copies, including the other spots that show guys who care about their hair and shoes getting similarly violent treatment.

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  • Vatican Lokey

    Well, in this musical-loving gay man’s life, they’re right. I don’t use this product at all. Its disgusting! Besides, they’ve got bigger problems having cast Ron Jeremy’s stand-in.

  • The sane Francis

    These commercials are not good at all and completely justify the negative, rigid stereotypes of what it takes to be a man that is one of if not the main reason insecure guys gay bash. But, why are these commercials promoting this stereotype? Because it’s reassuring to these insecure men. Because people do respond to these stereotypes. So while they are irresponsible, the issue is much more the society we live in where being a “real man” is about fronting as a macho tough guy, rather than the commercial itself.

  • Scott Bonzitski

    Too much hair near my food turns me off. I did not even watch the commercial. The Giant brand of mix is W-A-Y better and cheaper anyways…SB

  • divkid

    i don’t usually comment on such things. it’s such matter of personal taste, and there are definitely international cultural differences.

    however, this message is manifestly offensive, and irredeemably repellent. there’s no detectable post-modern irony defence here; this is old fashioned meat ‘n’ potatoes homo panic/hatred. they’re knockin’ it to them thar sissies!

  • the dude

    seriously guys?

    i personally find them funny. but what makes you think that they are personally attacking gay men? there is no evidence in what i saw that specifically said queer, gay, or anything remotely close to that.

    i think you’re reading into it to make a point.

  • Erich

    I laughed at it. I’m a gay man who doesn’t like musicals, and I would happily smack a ground beef and tomato sauce sandwich into someone’s face if they were going on like that.

  • All Natural Loving

    That commercial is nearly as disgusting as the product is.

    It promotes the idea that violence is the appropriate response to non-stereotypical behavior.

  • Holy Shit!

    Wow, what a disgusting commercial.

    And Erich, I’m thrilled to hear you’d gladly assault someone for talking about things they like! Like, for example, my brother talks about maps a lot. He just LOVES maps. The next time he brings it up, I’m so glad I now have a free pass to throw food into his face, or punch him, or just generally physically abuse/ humiliate him. Happy happy joy joy! Never mind that this commercial perpetuates violence as an acceptable way of asserting “masculinity” (or in this case, buying a product as an act of symbolic violence to assert one’s “masculinity”) or whatever. Some gay dude found it funny and therefore it isn’t offensive anymore! Let’s all just have a laugh and then go beat up the next jackhole who talks about things we don’t like!

    I seriously hope this commercial gets a lot of critical heat, but I doubt it will.

  • divkid

    @the dude: are you being deliberately obtuse or just a contrarian dick?

    are you too stoopid to realise what “liking musicals” connotes to the mainstream. you don’t think those clever admen don’t know what it signifies?

    this protagonist is being punished, (literally and symbolically) by an act of violence,
    for transgressing some imposed code of masculinity. which even those of you without a love of sondheim wouldn’t pass either.

    but you think it’s funny! well thats okay then.

  • craigers

    Terrible. Just terrible.

  • Kent M

    It’s called ‘tomato puree’ plus a dash of Worcestershire sauce and some other spices you already have at home. Make your own.

    Note to moobs dude: Try LEAN ground meat; it’s cheaper than liposuction.

  • Conrad Honicker

    I think this is also destructive for straight identified men, as well.

    If takes this guy who we wouldn’t typically identify as gay and gives him an interest in musicals. Straight men are just as allowed to like musicals. Not according to Manwhich.

    Ultimately, this perpetuates femininity as a lesser than masculinity. When male-perceived people engage with femininity, this disrupts the power of masculinity and the rigidness of gender roles. Manwhich thinks that it can just slap ‘da shit out of it, but in reality it’s just starting another infinite task of telling.

    Let the discourse continue!


  • Martin

    Agreed. Disgusting. Perpetuates more than one stereotype: musicals=gay, “man” = straight male, conflict resolution = violence, etc.
    Sure, violence against we gay folk and those perceived to be gay is a societal problem, but this is as good a place as any to offer correction. May “Manwich” bite the dust. (Greasy cr*p that it is)
    The only good thing I saw was promotion of the male torso, hairy and shirtless – now, if he’d stop eating that junk and lose a couple pounds….as it is, if one can overlook the Ron Jeremy connection mentioned earlier, I bet he’s a cuddly bear in life away from the set….and therefore quite nice.

  • Marcus M

    Even outside of any gay discussion, ads like this make me incredibly mad. Not only is it a slap in the face to gay men, it’s also incredibly depressing how much this and all those beer ads send out a message that there is literally only one way to be a man. There are plenty of straight men that don’t want to fit into such a rigid definition of “manliness” and it ends up warping every boy in this country’s mind. Even straight boys will be pressured into fitting into some type of “norm.” There’s more than one way to be a man.

  • Kev C

    It’s called a SLOPPY JOE! Because it’s a gross concoction of slop only a pig would eat.

  • JAW

    It makes ALL men look bad… he does not look gay, hell no bear would be that odd looking… These commercials are not homophobic… they are maleaphobic and they need to stop… just look at the way he holds the damn sandwich… no real straight or real gay man would do that.

    It does not make me want to run out and buy the product

  • The sane Francis

    It’s not even that it’s homophobic, which it is, what it is is misogynistic, and as Conrad put it perfectly, it perpetuates the attitude that femininity is inferior. “No, you are man, cannot be like woman.” Femininity=weakness. Weakness=wrong. Wrong=attack it to prove you’re a man. And what makes it worse is the extremely rigid attitudes that come with being a “real man” is about. It does make straight men look bad too. Are all straight men overly macho douchebag types who show no emotion, and whose value is based solely on their penis? No. But that’s the attitudes promoted with these commercials.

    But, again, as I said, we wouldn’t see these commercials if people didn’t respond to them. A majority men ARE extremely insecure in their sexuality, masculinity, and overall identities, in fact, I’d venture to say straight men more than gay/bi men. So therefore, commercials like these will continue to pop up, because it reaffirms the actions of these insecure men who put on a false facade in an attempt to be accepted.

  • divkid

    they’re too cowardly to actually depict a gay man taking a slap. and seeing as this product is aimed at real men, why would they? queers are beyond manwhich’s help; de facto women.

    no, instead they depict an ostensibly “real” hairy-assed, blue collar man in order to make their point.

    which is, to insinuate that he’s let the side down, and must be policed, chastised, so as not to identify with the hated “other” — again, pusillanimously unarticulated but the inference is all too apparent.

  • Soupy

    He looks like a younger version of Ron Jeremy. Straight porn’s hedgehog.

  • DavyJones

    I’d normally give a lot of lee-way as far as advertising; but this is blatantly, and intentionally offensive.

  • zacht

    i love(d) manwiches! not anymore now that ill associate them with disgusting hairiness.

  • Ryan Harper

    First things first: I don’t really like the commercial. I don’t think it sends a positive message, but I also don’t think it condones violence…that’s a bit of a stretch. At any rate…

    What’s more interesting to me are the petty and superficial digs being thrown around here in the comments section — complaining that hairiness is gross, referring to the actor as “moobs guy,” saying that he is ugly and fat, etc. It’s funny how gay men in particular cry foul at ribbing based on stereotypes but are fast to dish our insults and criticism when it comes to other questions of appearance.

    So, you’re worried about 15 year old kids who might see this and feel bad about themselves, eh? Well, suppose those same gay kids read your comments and come away with the arguably more troubling message that much of their own gay society will ridicule them for being hairy, overweight, or (apparently) unattractive.

  • Lawrence Mowat

    Are you for real?
    There is clearly no mention of a gay man in any of these ads? You’re the homophobes!

    These are simple funny ads that don’t promote violence, they promote sloppy joes.

    You have too much time on your hands if you set out on a mission to bring a company down for having ads that you don’t think are funny.

    What’s wrong with YOU?

  • the dude

    You guys are incredible.

    These are the times that I, myself, am embarrassed to be a homosexual man.

    i was always under the impression that your sexual preference made you homosexual, not what you talk about. These ads, for what they are, never spoke about sexual preference. They were funny, lame, and dumb, and you guys are over-analytical because you’re being super sensitive towards our sexuality.

    You guys need to relax. You guys succeeded in getting the ad pulled. The link no longer works.

    But take a step back for a second.

    Think of any commercial for a bank. A BANK. Now imagine people of Jewish decent getting offended because the commercial stereotyped them for being good with money. Yet, no where in any bank commercial did they mention Jewish people.

    THAT, my friends, is how ridiculous you all are being.

  • DavyJones

    @the dude: Wait; so you’re saying we are being ridiculous because we relate “what you talk about” to being homosexual. The problem with your ‘logic’ is that this ad’s whole pretense is that what the guy is talking about isn’t ‘manly’ enough, and so he doesn’t deserve to have the ‘Manwhich’

    Our problem isn’t that they’re simply insinuating that the man is gay and therefor doesn’t deserve the ‘manwhich’. It’s that because the man likes musicals he’s not ‘manly’ to begin with. They are the ones who are associating “what you say” with whether or not you are a ‘man’; in fact that stereotype is the whole point of the commercial.

    Also; any gay man still using the term ‘sexual preference’ needs to educate himself a bit…

  • the dude

    re:davy jones

    the title of this feed was “musical-loving QUEERS do not eat our product. the word “queers” came as an interpretation, yet last time i checked, they don’t have a ‘queer rating’ on musicals so that hetero people can’t watch them. anyone can.

    I was defending the fact that in no way shape or form did they say anything about being gay/queer/bi/etc in the ad.

    If all you’re arguing is the fact that people who like musicals are not allowed to eat a manwich, then why is this news?

    you know why? cause it’s not. it’s about insinuating that he’s gay, which is your interpretation of it.

  • The sane Francis

    It doesn’t even have to be about homophobia directly, to be homophobic. The word gay doesn’t have to be brought up, when the implications within the commercial are apparent. In this situation, the commercials’ intentions were simple. Real men don’t do “girly things”. What do gay men get gay bashed for? Usually out of insecurity of ones’ own masculinity and overall identity. So when people say commercials like this don’t have an impact, they most certainly do. Whether you are gay or not, it has a very negative impact on the messages that are being sent and creates a culture of hyper-masculinity that harms us all.

  • WillBFair

    @Ryan Harper: Queue the quick changes of subject and mountains of excuses for the blatant looks based bigotry in the gay community.

  • Kev C

    They apologized but I didn’t. Here’s the ingrediants in Manwich sauce:

    Tomato Puree
    High Fructose Corn Syrup
    Distilled Vinegar
    Corn Syrup
    Less than 2% of: Other Shit

    So it’s KETCHUP and CORN SYRUP + MORE CORN SYRUP .. in a CAN! What a delight!

  • Jack Fertig

    Isn’t all that stuff just salt, chemicals, genetically modified crops and hormone-soaked beef that’s all contributing to cancers and heart attacks? I say bravo for promoting this in a way that homophobes will eat more of this poison and sensible people will find it even more repulsive than it already is.

  • TheRealAdam

    @the dude: You’re a fucking oblivious idiot. Furthermore, you probably aren’t even gay, since gay men don’t typically refer to themselves as “homosexual men.” That sounds like something a straight person would say, along with “sexual preference,” which is considered distasteful.

    Since you are trying (failing) to pose as a gay man, you could at least make an attempt to stay current on terminology.

  • J.D

    I do not get other gays sometimes. No, the commercial is not P.C. IT’s a silly stupid commercial that made me laugh. If anyone watches this commercial and ACTUALLY thinks “Yeah people who talk like that AREN’T manly” then they’re idiots and no worth bothering with. The gays get so uppity about the smallest things. And people wonder why others think we have an agenda. It’s just a commercial that will be forgotten in a few months like MANY commercials. Get over yourselves and stop trying to be these overly sensitive militant gays.

  • TheRealAdam


    You’re probably not even gay either! I know. I’m the gay inspector!

    Refer to me as such.

    The Gay Inspector has spoken!

  • J.D

    @TheRealAdam: I guarantee you I’m plenty gay. Just because I don’t get offended by every tiny thing like many of the gays on this site does not mean I’m not gay.

  • TheRealAdam


    Nah. You just got offended so you must be a straight.

    Begone, fake gay, BEGONE!

    The Gay Inspector Has Spoken!

  • TheRealAdam

    @TheRealAdam: No. 33 and No. 35 are not me.

    @J.D: You’re responding to an imposter, and an inferior one at that.

  • TheRealAdam

    @J.D: @TheRealAdam:

    I just re-read what the impostor wrote. It is definitely not me because I only have my Learner’s Permit to become a Gay Inspector. I haven’t actually gotten my real license. YET!

    Fingers crossed!

    The Not-Quite-Yet-But-Soon-Enough-Gay-Inspector has SPOKEN!

  • JAW

    These ads are as offensive to straight men as they are to gay men… I do not see how any guy would say to themself… Hey that manwich ad make me want to go buy the can of goop.

    asains should be as pissed as we are… the guy is shown as being a computer nerd…

    I have straight buds that have over a dozen pr of Nike’s… they have to have the right color to match their outfit as they go out and hunt chicks…

    the arm that does the smackdown is Hairy… guess blonds, body builders WWF celebs are not real men either since they do not have hairy arms.

    Also… none of the guys looks or sounds gay at all

  • Shannon

    This is SOOOOOO gross….so nasty… putrid looking

  • John

    I haven’t eaten their product since I was a kid and don’t expect that to change any time soon. Yet I wasn’t offended by these 3 videos. Typical and harmless frat/blue collar humor among straight men in my experience.

  • Jey

    As an out gay man and a Manwich lover,( yea, take away my membership card.) I found these commercials to be hilarious. I was not offended and I think that some of us need to get a sense of humour. It isn’t as if they had their hands on their hips and lisping while listening to Judy Garland. Come on.

  • Project2501

    As a straight-identified guy, I gotta tell you I think anyone who’s offended by this advertising or thinks that it constitutes some sort of deliberate attack on gay culture or even that it condones the punishment of of some manner of “betrayal of manly image” just doesn’t get the irony involved. The revival of “manliness” is a joke, a meme that developed from the mutual understanding among men that the old stereotypes about masculinity have died. We all know that we’ll never be “The most interesting man in the world” (Dos Equis ad) or the governator, or Dolph Lundgren, or a lumberjack who beats up “sissies” and eats cows whole (I’m a vegetarian myself, but I “know” that eating meat is MANLY. I don’t think it’s an attack on vegetarians, and I know when a friend of mine says “Be a MAN, eat some MEAT” he’s not actually questioning my masculinity because of my diet) The joke is that we all know that we’re the “sissies,” even the manliest of us.

    These ads are not from the perspective of “normal” guys, beating down sissy guys for eating man food and being sissies. It’s about how the quintessential MANLY MAN (who we all know is not the ideal person, that’s the joke) reacts to normal guys eating a food that’s clearly made for the hardy, muscular tastebuds of the MANLY MAN!

    The advertisers may have failed to make the ‘victims’ adequately silly, but if anything it was a genuine attempt at MANLY MAN humor, not a deliberate attempt to insult anyone for shoe shopping, liking musicals or men who use hair gel. None of these are euphemisms for “gay,” it just happens to be a fact that when you map the personality of the “manly man” character, then draw from that the polar opposite, these traits are what you get. You can reach that conclusion easily without realizing you may insult gay men, in fact, you almost need to have a stereotypical view of gay men to even THINK this would offend gay men. I’m less manly than a good portion of my gay friends, I see no correlation.

    Anyway, just my two cents… I really liked these, they’re short, clever, ironic, and advertise to a non-existent “MANLY” market in order to ensnare their real market: poor college guys.

    If I wasn’t a sissy, AIDA singin’, shoe shoppin’, RUSK hair product latherin’, vegetarian… I might have a MANwich just as a thank you. And remember: A sandwich is a sandwich, but a Manwich… my queer friends… is a meal.


  • TheRealAdam

    @Project2501: As a gay-identified guy, I “gotta tell you” to STFU. You aren’t entitled to an opinion on this. And the one you did provide is full of shit.

  • Kev C

    @TheRealAdam: Thank you,TRA. His opinion was longer than all 3 commercials combined.

    The ads reminded me of those videos that scare people as they watch something serene. Bunnies smelling flowers to Mozart music .. then a zombie ghost pops up and screams and you want to murder the guy who made the video.

  • Jeffree

    @TheReal[REAL]Adam: It was clearly NOT you posting, from the get-go. You don’t write one sentence paragraph, orr go weird with Capital Letters for no reason.
    You’re a detective, not an inspector!

    For the record re: Manwich: The people crafting most ads have almost nothing in common with their target audiences in terms of geography, income, education, preference for organic produce, or hours-per-week viewing NASCAR or wrestling.

  • Jeffree

    @TheReal[REAL]Adam: TRYING AGAIN: It was clearly NOT you posting from the get-go. You don’t write one sentence paragraphs, or go weird with Capital Letters for no reason.

    You’re a detective, not an inspector!

    For the record re: Manwich: The people crafting most ads have almost nothing in common with their target audiences in terms of geography, income, education, preference for organic produce, or hours-per-week viewing NASCAR or wrestling.

  • TheRealAdam

    @Jeffree: @Jeffree: Thanks, cuttlefish. That’s why I said the imposter is inferior – he/she could have at least tried to mimic my writing style. I think the regulars here can pretty much tell when I post, and when someone pays me homage and tries to post under my name :).

    And you are absolutely right about the Manwich ad executives.

  • Soupy

    Don’t feel too badly Adam. When the trolls pose as Jeffree and myself, they use “not good” english.

  • Noobie


    Ive bee n following this thread for a bit. Isn’t it possible that people in the advertising industry – maybe even the people who worked on this ad, could’ve been gay too begin with?

    Now imagine that. A client buying commercials from an agency who have gay men/women selling a commercial which they themselves don’t find offensive – only to have hyper sensitive gays like yourselves find any and every reason to piss on everything that may or may not have to do with gay culture.

    Are any of you even aware of the backlash that’s forming because of the backlash that this site has caused? I wouldn’t be surprised if Conagra folds to the public pressure and airs these commercials once again.

    This actual situation is becoming a case study on how ridiculous the public reacts, and how quickly and unjustified companies will counteract because they are worried about controversy.

  • jamienoir


    Thank you for making that ad harder to masterbate to.

Comments are closed.