A new ad spot by Calvin Klein has resulted in a backlash, forcing the fashion brand to issue an apology to the LGBTQ community.
The video ad featured model Bella Hadid kissing robot model Lil Miquela. Miquela is a CGI with more than one million followers on Instagram.
Some called the ad queer-baiting, using a same-sex kiss to promote the brand.
Calvin Klein issued this statement:
“The concept of our latest #MYCALVINS campaign is to promote freedom of expression for a wide range of identities, including a spectrum of gender and sexual identities. This specific campaign was created to challenge conventional norms and stereotypes in advertising. In this particular video, we explored the blurred lines between reality and imagination
“We understand and acknowledge how featuring someone who identifies as heterosexual in a same-sex kiss could be perceived a queerbaiting. As a company with a longstanding tradition of advocating for LGBTQ+ rights, it was certainly not our intention to misrepresent the LGTBQ+ community. We sincerely regret any offense we caused.”
In the trailer for the upcoming Solo: A Star Wars Story, the character of “Lando Calrissian” (played by Donald Glover) seems all friendly and flirty with just about everyone he encounters.
In one scene, Calrissian calls Han Solo “baby;” in another clip he says with a smile, “Everything you’ve heard about me is true.”
In the film, his female droid L3-37 shares, “I’m sure you noticed that Lando has feelings for me.”
You may recall Billy Dee Williams brought a similar winking sexuality to the character in Episodes V and VI of the Star Wars saga.
With that in mind, Bill Bradley of the Huffington Post asked the father/son screenwriting team of Solo – Jonathan and Lawrence Kasdan – in a recent interview if Lando is, indeed, pansexual.
“I would say yes,” Jonathan says. “He doesn’t make any hard and fast rules.”
“There’s a fluidity to Donald and Billy Dee’s (portrayal of Lando’s) sexuality,” he continued. “I mean, I would have loved to have gotten a more explicitly LGBT character into this movie. I think it’s time, certainly, for that, and I love the fluidity ― sort of the spectrum of sexuality – that Donald appeals to and that droids are a part of.”
While the writers may imply that Lando is sexually fluid, folks who have previewed the film say there’s nothing explicit to that point in the film.
Some of you may be wondering “What’s the difference between pansexual and bisexual?” Pansexuals are attracted to all gender identities (or are attracted regardless of gender identities) and bisexuals are attracted to more than one gender identity (but not all).
In the more than 4 decades of Star Wars films, LGBTQ fans have yet to see actual representation in the sci-fi films. It seems that as vast as the universe may be, there are only heterosexuals out in space.
i think i’d be less eyerolly towards the “lando is pan” kinda stuff from major franchises if, instead of saying “we’d LOVE to have more queerness on screen” they’d just be straight up and go “listen, they’ll never let us put this in the actual movie, but”
So this news on Lando’s sexuality- we gotta stop with this queer baiting. Stop saying these characters are queer/fluid and not show it. This is lazy storytelling and doing the bare minimum. pic.twitter.com/qgXytbAD96
In a HuffPost Live interview on Thursday, actor Zachary Quinto sounded off on the likes of male stars like James Franco and Nick Jonas, who have been criticized for “queerbaiting” their gay fans, claiming he doesn’t have an issue with the phenomenon.
Quinto: “These guys who are, in many ways, considered very conventionally desirable, attractive leading men… lending themselves to these kinds of stories is a valuable thing for our culture.”
I personally agree with Quinto. The fact that high-level, mainstream male stars are so open to acknowledging their gay fan base doesn’t offend me at all. And it sets a tone of acceptance that I wish more major celebs would adopt.
The star also opened up about the controversy that ensued when he urged caution over the use of the HIV/AIDS prevention drug Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, or PrEP.
Quinto: “I certainly like to be a part of conversations in our culture, and I’m not particularly afraid to articulate my position or my opinion on things, and if people don’t agree with it, that’s great. That fact that the backlash initiated a conversation about [PrEP] on some level — an issue that people are really uncomfortable talking about — I feel like that was my contribution.”
Watch the clip below. For the entire interview with Quinto on HuffPost Live, click here.