Monday, March 12, 2012

Bob Katter's anti-gay ad: the "gay couple" portrayed

I think the most offensive thing about this ad is the image used to portray gay people. Because the chests were pixelated out, I thought the two men were naked, and this was some sort of sexualisation of the issue. That's not the case as it turns out, and I'm now unsure if the original ad aired with the pixelation effect or not, or if later people added that because they thought was actually being depicted could be considered offensive.

What was actually depicted was imagery that I found on a website that provides stock photos for the depiction of homosexual couples. The pictures in this case are from a series entitled Portrait of a Homosexual Pregnant Couple Expecting a Baby. The part that was pixelated out shows the younger man of the portrayed couple with what looks like a white sculpted set of breasts and a distended belly, obviously not real but intended to evoke the appearance of a pregnant woman. Both partners are bare-chested, and both are wearing jeans.

So, two questions: (1) Why intentionally censor this? (2) Why use these images? The sculpted belly and breasts may be a tad racy, but both chests were censored in the ad, so I really don't know what's going on. The use of the images seems a bit more clear to me, as a means to demonstrate that what same-sex couples are really doing is pathetically aping "genuine" (heterosexual) relationships i.e. ones where one of the partners actually can get pregnant. By neglecting to mention that this is an artistic photoset, the ad dishonestly implies that gay men do this kind of dress-up as a serious activity. The pixelation kind of spoils that message, though.

Was the ad pixelated in this way when it was originally shown on television?

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