It was just a couple months ago we were calling Apple, maker of all things technologically delicious, one of the gay friendliest companies around. But then we noticed Apple was also a company that had a bizarre relationship with gay content, sometimes leaning gay friendly, and other times leaning homophobic. So what does it mean when the same company also appears to be using its iTunes store to discriminate against gay men?
Or, at least, consumers who might like looking at hot guys on their iPhones?
The company just rejected an update to Athletic Model Guild’s Beefcake app, a straight-forward piece of software that delivers attractive men to your 3G device. Apple told AMG its app, which was originally approved for download, now has “objectionable content” that’s not suitable for sale in the update. What sort of objectionable content? The images you see above, which Apple attached to their rejection email for reference.
So what’s the problem? Well for one, Apple has approved similar apps showing humans engaged in various states of dress. Those apps just happen to show ladies, which, depending on which side of feminist theory you stand on, are more provocative than AMG’s dudes app.
Apple’s iPhone app store is no stranger to controversy, given its shadowy policies that determine which apps get approved (a free game that lets players choose the “correct” urinal to pee in) and which don’t (Google Voice). But it’s growing increasingly clear Apple has no strict rules for determining inappropriate content, and an individual Apple reviewer (or however their process works) could determine the fate of an app — which contradicts how other similar apps are treated
For now (i.e. until Apple rescinds its decision), one thing is clear: Babes in bikinis are okay on the iPhone, while shirtless men — or guys crouched over hiding their bits and pieces — are not.
Then again, while AMG’s iPhone app is reportedly safe for work, its website is definitely not. Clicking over to it generates this warning: You are entering a site that contains sexually explicit material and is intended only for adults age 18 and over. Do not proceed further if: you are not of legal age, if this material is illegal in your area, or if you are offended by this content. Do you wish to proceed?” And its homepage is littered with X-rated content.
So perhaps Apple’s decision is based not on the app, but who makes it.