A couple of days ago there Microsoft was receiving the bad end of it on Twitter. Yes, if you want some tadka in your life then say hello to the desi twitterdom. The subject of major queer bashing: Windows Internet Explorer 8 television commercial. The ad was a spoof on (ex) producer and host Raghu Ram (Shakaal’s long lost berader) and his brainchild “MTV Roadies”, titled–to-rhyme “Goadies”.
The storyboard goes like this; a young guy auditions for the reality show, he’s jumping, he’s squatting, he’s working his pelvic muscles, and he’s doing the dhak dhak move but apna judge is the least impressed. So in order to get selected, our boy via Internet Explorer 8’s quick search capability digs in the judge’s profile, taps in on his personal taste and makes his next move accordingly. Next minute he is shown flirting with the judge, stripping his shirt, flashing his tattoo, behaving effeminate and voila, he has aced the audition with rainbow colours.
The said commercial was released in early 2009 and the reaction has taken place in mid-2010. So from the Marketing team’s point-of-view, total paisa vasool.
Now the bitter reaction from certain section of the desi gay community is completely justifiable. The commercial is insulting by all means. After all, it does portray homosexual men as sluts… as men who have not a penny’s worth of integrity and would stoop to any level at the slightest hint of sexual intimacy.
But tell me this; if the male contender was replaced with a female, would the commercial be any less offensive? I don’t think so. Probably the ad agency thought it’s in their best interest to avoid taking panga with the Bharitiya Nari mandal and gays ka kya hai, Bollywood regularly makes them butt of their slapstick humour, anyhow.
Also, are advertising agencies the only ones to be blamed for such thinking? From their perspective they are only capitalizing on the latest trend; MTV Roadies has been in the news for couch casting, reality shows like Splits Villa does encourage young minds into believing that the quickest way to the top is by showing skin and sleeping around.
Classic example of the hen or the egg scenario, won’t you agree?