Bad ad

Supermarket ALDI insists their mincing stereotype is totally straight

This Christmas was a bright spot for gay characters depicted realistically in commercials … except in Australia, where the supermarket ALDI ran a spot featuring a family of Americans who resist Australian holiday traditions until they finally give in.

The problem with the ad — if it really is a problem — is the dad character, who is so obviously a swishing mincing flaming stereotype, the simplest of stock-queers

He pops out of a closet and throws confetti like Rip Taylor. He spies on a neighbor in a thong and makes sexy-pervert eyes at him. He toasts a beer with pinky outstretched. ALDI could not have made him more obviously, patronizingly gay if they put him in heels.

And you know, if that was all they did, it wouldn’t be the end of the world. For sure, it’s annoying to see that tired trope again. But it’s the supermarket’s behavior after the ad aired that’s a much bigger problem.

Related: 20 advertisers that made 2016 gayer than ever

When a viewer complained about the lame stereotype, the supermarket defended themselves with an obvious lie that’s far more insulting than the ad.

“The character  who the complainant refers to is playing the husband of the mother of the three children,” wrote someone at the company. “ALDI does not consider that the character is portrayed as an ‘identifiably gay individual.’”

Ugh come on you guys. There’s just no way to believe that ALDI didn’t recognize that this character checks every single checkbox used to make fun of gays. Australia may be far away, but it’s not on another planet.

But alas, Australia’s broadcast standards organization sided with the store. “The man the complainant refers to is clearly presented as the husband and father of 3 children and considered that his behaviour is over the top and exaggerated but not intended to be representative of a gay man,” wrote the Ad Standards Board.

Right. Because no queer man has ever been married to a woman and fathered children.

The commercial is bad, but ALDI and the ASB are far, far worse.

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41 Comments

  • PRINCE OF SNARKNESS aka DIVKID

    “obviously a swishing mincing flaming stereotype, the simplest of stock-queers”

    Confused AF. Make your fucking minds up guys and gurrrls.

  • Daniel-Reader

    Up until a couple minutes ago, I used to shop there. How disappointing. And since ALDI is in America WTF?! on making fun of Americans and American christmas to boot.

  • Heywood Jablowme

    Uh… so you’re saying you’d be totally cool with this gay stereotype IF ONLY the store and the advertising board would admit it’s intended as a gay stereotype?

    That doesn’t make any sense at all.

  • Roan

    Not every straight guy is a butch jock. I’ve met plenty of fey straight men. We could easily name a dozen visible ones right now. Of course, maybe Mr. Tinkleton just isn’t out yet. We should give him the space he needs to feel comfortable in living his truth.

  • ProfessorMoriarty

    The most offensive thing about this ad is that it isn’t even remotely funny. It’s just lame and annoying.

  • Paco

    Maybe the ad was saying that American men are girly compared to the rugged, manly Australian men.

    I have met “straight” men married to women, that would give Mr. Tinkleton a good run for his money.

    Strange ad for sure.

  • Heywood Jablowme

    @Paco: That’s probably part of it. Australians have a very high opinion of their men’s masculinity!

    But also, Christmas is a summer holiday there, and the ad is spoofing how tired they get of all the imported snow/reindeer etc. imagery.

  • Kangol

    Clearly ALDI, a German conglomerate, is sending up the white-focused/obsessed American version of Christmas and the US as a country in general. All the people in the family are blond, though the US is far more [email protected] and ethnically diverse than Australia); they’re wearing winter clothes, though Christmas in Australia occurs in the summer; and they are all clearly a bit crazy, in contrast to the calmer, obviously sane Australians. The homophobic stereotype was unnecessary, but I see what the company was trying to convey.

  • He BGB

    Alot of people still fall for the he’s married so he can’t be gay story.

  • CaliKyle

    Its a guncle – gay uncle – not a closeted dad. The fat one is supposed to be the father. I mean, who cares? Yeah, stereotypes can suck but its not like theyre totally baseless. Im happy to see this gay uncle holidaying with his fam.

  • Kangol

    @CaliKyle: He’s not the “guncle”; he’s wearing a wedding ring and is supposed to be the (closeted) father. The overweight guy is the granddad or uncle.

  • My2Cents

    Strange but not all that offensive. It would have to make sense and say something to be offensive. There are too many real offenses in this world for me to have to try to scourge up some outrage at this.

  • kurt_t

    @Kangol: I’m seeing two fathers and two wives. Not clear on how the kids sort out.

  • kurt_t

    OK, I’m going to walk back my comment a little. I’m going to say the fat guy and the lady with the more mature hairstyle are the grandparents.

    And as much as I’d like to be offended by the gay stereotype, I own a glitter Nativity scene, and on Christmas morning I always watch the first fifteen minutes of “Female Trouble.”

    So, you know, I’d just feel kind of hypocritical.

  • ybgirp

    The Australian Broadcast Standards people reflect what the government and most people want, and that is to get rid of same-sex-oriented people. Over the last ten years this country has become very homophobic and increasingly pro everything right-wing USA. We used to get gay and other great films from all over the world on SBSTV, now they never mention Gay and the only films are from mainstream USA. As is the news and current affairs…we are the 51st state and it’s no longer very nice to live here.

  • Gates

    Everyone is too sensitive. It’s a gay stereotype but so what, they’ve been around since the advent of film and will be around as long as some gay men continue to act this way. I mean it is not without basis. If we don’t want to be portrayed this way, we should stop acting this way.

  • Danny279

    “obviously a swishing mincing flaming stereotype, the simplest of stock-queers”

    In other words, the same vile thing that Queerty celebrates in 2/3 of its stories.

  • Heywood Jablowme

    @Danny279: LOL. Your comment made me laugh… before I realized it was YOU making it! (Ack.) Well, kudos.

    Yeah, it’s true they certainly like the notion that “effeminate” gay guys are more “authentic,” yadda yadda yadda. A week doesn’t go by that Queerty doesn’t run something to that effect.

    But it’s click-bait, you realize?

  • seki

    @ybgirp: Oh come now, we all know that is just untrue. We are seeing increasing levels of support for same-sex marriage by the public including people who identify as religious – it’s just that there are certain groups of people in power that would rather sabotage any meaningful attempt to amend current laws. This has always been evident but continues to decrease in influence. Be proud of the people who are making great strides in helping to make equality a reality in this country.

  • everybodywinsyay

    Rip Taylor did exist therefore anyone who resembles him is resembling reality and not a stereotype. Get over yourselves. At least Rip Taylor was entertaining.

  • Brian

    Australia is decades behind the rest of the West in terms of homosexual rights. They’re still arguing about whether gay marriage should be legal.

    The Ad Standards Board is a disgrace and so is ALDI.

  • Jack Meoff

    @Daniel-Reader: Americans make fun of other countries all the time but you can’t take it when someone has a gentle jab back at America. Turn around is fair play so just take it on the chin.

  • Jack Meoff

    @Paco: The ad was not making a sweeping generalisation about American men at all.

  • Jack Meoff

    @Heywood Jablowme: There were no examples of hyper masculine Australian men in this ad at all just a normal Australian family so I don’t see how your comment is relevant.

  • Jack Meoff

    @Kangol: Way to over think it. It’s not like America doesn’t deal in American stereotypes even in their own media and entertainment.

  • Jack Meoff

    @ybgirp: You’re way off course. While our government way be lagging in relation to marriage equality the general population are very accepting of gays in general. The government just needs to catch up to the views of the majority of the general public. As for gay movies on SBS the only reason they aren’t there any more is because they have been relegated to the paid TV broadcasters and not the Free to Air channels. It’s not like they’ve disappeared. Sounds like you have an axe to grind.

  • Kangol

    @Jack Meoff: Nope, not like this. Name me one US commercial that dares portray the hyper-obsession with whiteness and family like this Australian one does.

  • Kieran

    Don’t let Hollywood see this commercial. They’ll hire the guy to do the sequel of Birdcage II.

  • CaliKyle

    @Kangol: Wedding ring? Would never notice such a minor detail. It wasnt clear to me exactly who was what in terms of family member and most people dont notice small details while watching commercials. Im still saying he’s supposed to be a guncle and fatty is the dad. Perception is what matters here.

  • kurt_t

    @everybodywinsyay, point of order. Rip Taylor is still alive. (He turns 83 on January 13th.)

  • BrettJ

    Blah blah blah. Sometimes I feel like we’re desperate to find something to be offended at. Yes … he’s obviously playing into gay stereotypes for an easy joke …. but that’s what Will and Grace did and Queerty celebrates that show. We can’t pick and choose what offends us. Let’s get over ourselves.

    There are so many REAL issues in the world. Let’s focus on those.

  • robho3

    Oh god lighten up people.

  • kurt_t

    @robho3, ok we’ll see how you feel when everybody starts assuming that all the celebrities from your childhood are dead.

  • Johnny

    @ybgirp SBS Ondemand have a rainbow channel, not sure what you are on about

  • Sluggo2007

    To all the people who are making nasty comments. It’s just a damned commercial from another country. Doesn’t take much to frost your balls, does it?

  • Chris

    This is a lose-lose. They say he’s gay, and they’re slammed for engaging in stereotypes. They say he’s straight, and they’re slammed for not being more forthcoming as is happening in this article. They say nothing, and they get slammed for being coy. My advice: tell people to see whoever they want to see in him. And if they don’t like, offer to sell them a sense of humor.

  • Jaroslaw

    All of the scenes went by so fast in this annoying commercial, it is hard to tell why offense would be taken. The only thing really definitive was when the uncle (?) was looking over the fence at the guy in the thong, his tone was definitely what most people consider effeminate/gay voice. I think it is much more about criticizing Americans in contrast with supposedly more masculine Australian men. Homophobia has increased there in a number of years, but not because of this silly commercial.

  • Desert Eagle

    It’s hysterical! And he’s a chubby chaser too! I love it!

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