Friday, June 27, 2008

Heinz Early Day Motion

Diane Abbott has lodged this Early Day Motion regarding the Heinz Deli Mayo Ad's removal on the back of 202 non-justifiable complaints:

That this House notes that the manufacturer Heinz has withdrawn its television advertisement, which features two men kissing, on the basis of 200 complaints that it might be embarrassing for parents with children to watch; further notes that millions of children watch depictions of same-sex relationships in soap operas every day; further notes that the advertisement was not intended to be a realistic depiction of a same-sex relationship, and that the advertisement was intended to be humorous; believes that Heinz's decision was ill-considered and likely to offend millions of gay, lesbian and transgender people; and calls on Heinz to reconsider its decision.

Ironically it is EDM 1889 which is when such a reaction would have been expected rather than 2008. So far 9 other Labour MPs have signed it, Diane Abbott, Chris Bryant, Alan Simpson, Ian Gibson, Jeremy Corbyn, Karen Buck, Greg Pope, Kelvin Hopkins, Eric Illsey and Lynne Jones.

I have written to Michael Connarty urging him to do the same. If you live in the UK please write to your MP and encourage them to do likewise following this clicky link if you're not sure how.

Update: Sadly the Parliament site is not updating the signatories regularly enough to check the current level of Parliamentary support however Lynne Featherstone has blogged that she has since signed it. Nick Clegg has also written to Heinz on this issue.

Updated to 4 July: More names added to Government website total now 22 with Paul Holmes, Mike Hancock, Stephen Williams, Mark Oaten (Lib Dem), Glenda Jackson, Chris McCafferty, John McDonnell, Martin Caton, Jim Devine, Rudi Vis, Linda Riordan, Harry Cohen (Labour).

Second EDM 1913: It appears Lynne Featherstone contrary to the above has submitted her own EDM:

That this House regrets Heinz's decision to withdraw its television advert featuring two men kissing because of homophobic complaints and considers the scenes portrayed were in no way offensive or indecent; believes footage displaying affection between two people of the same sex should be treated in the same way as two people of the opposite sex; and calls for the company to resume its advertising campaign as planned.

Signed as of 4th July by 15 other MPs:

Lynne Jones, Jim Devine, Glenda Jackson, John McDonnell, Alan Simpson, Jeremy Corbyn, Paul Flynn, Rudi Vis, Kelvin Hopkins, Harry Cohen and Bill Etherington (Labour)

Mike Hancock, Adrian Sanders, Paul Holmes and Stephen Williams (Liberal Deomocrats)

The sad absence of any Tory, Nationalist of Northern Irish member from either EDM is starkly disappointing inditment against those parties.


Jeff said...

You don't think you're kicking the arse out of this one yet Stephen? It was just a tv advert.

What do you make of the Henley by-election result?

Stephen Glenn said...

Actually Jeff it is not the TV advert that is the issue.

What is the issue is that the attitudes of about 200 people in this country meant that a forward thinking inclusive concept has been pulled by a multinational who took cold feet.

Consider the reverse scenario assume for exasmple your norm is same sex. Pick almost any ad featuring a semi naked women, you see enough of them on your tele. Now assumed that she kisses a naked man. Actually such an advert contains plenty of nudity unlike the Heinz ad.

Or consider a non-stable flirter in an advert is that not a more erosive issue to family values.

How are any of there less taking in consideration of "all" who may view them than the Heinz example.

Considering the actor playing the Deli Chef is referred to as Mum means that he does not actually represent a man, but the mother in a normal heterosexual nuclear family. As no same-sex family set up I know of has one mum, one dad, it is two of whichever.

It is simply that the joke was not even seen because of inherant prejudices. Prejudices that should not be allowed to dictate in our society, it is a slippery slope to other things once we let these sort of people control too much.

Stephen Glenn said...

As for kicking the arse out of something I'm a campaigner always have been always will. I'll always do my bit for something that I see as being unfair.

As for Henley interestingly as well as Labour coming 5th all the votes for the parties below thenm total more than Labour took. Now that is a SDP moment death knell I believe it was.

Stephen Glenn said...

And judging by some of the links through to here today people are looking for news on the Westminster Motion as it has been mentioned in places like the US media though scantily.

Tim Trent said...

Jeff, It isn't "just a TV Advert", the advert has long been irrelevant. If you care to pop over to my own blog you can see a lot more about that, no point in rewriting it here.

The issue is about the folk at Heinz caving in to a trivial group of ~200 bigots and alienating not only the pink pound but a huge number of folk who see it as a discrimination issue, not as an orientation issue.

And then it is about the overwhelming arrogance of a US corporation which, as usual, has no understanding of non US markets.

Heck, even a spoof religion has carried a piece on ity!

Jeff said...

Tim, I did care to pop over to your blog. And I'm glad I did. Very good article you've written there.

However, I remain of the opinion that this is a lot of fuss over not very much.

Facebook groups, parliamenary motions, petitions, bombarding of company phone lines etc is a prime example of an over-the-top militance that is becoming commonplace in the gay community.

Yes, of course they have a genuine beef, in this circumstance and in many others, but it seems there is a staggering overreaction being played out here.

Heinz are a private company and they can air what they like.

And who should be demonised more? Heinz for at least considering running such an advert or the thousands of other companies who wouldn't touch the idea with a bargepole?

Tim Trent said...

Thanks Jeff. I replied over there. I think you make some good points. I'm in broad agreement with much of what you say.

There are a couple of subsequent articles there, too, if you haven't yet had the chance to browse.

I guess the point is that they could have run the advert and been happy about it. It was the pulling of it that caused the real problems.

Stephen Glenn said...

Jeff happy as ever to debate with you. Fact is the first militant action group to campaign on this was the AFA (American Family Association) it was they who mobilzed (deliberate Americanism) their forces to campaign to Heinz USA to get an advertisement in the UK pulled.

There were only 202 protests to the ASA (Advertising Standards Agency) because you have to have a UK postcode or Army address to protest to them.

So what you had was a very acceptable advert that the vast majority of the UK had no qualms about happily going about its business. Heinz were happy to produce it, but have backpeddled to pressure which is over the top, over there and the languange has not been carefully enough worded to not cause offense to law abiding people here in the UK.

Jeff I know you are a reasonable chap so think about it. How would you feel is an extreme pressure group from one of the American political parties started to hold sway over our more liberal way of life over here, becasue actually that is what this whole scenario is about now. Not some stupid ad that is just the catalyst and the glue. We're standing up for being independent and able to make our own judgements.

Jeff said...

Stephen, I'm more fully appreciating your position now.

I didn't know the AFA had started the ball rolling on this one and you've got to fight fire with fire I guess so fair play...

PS On a separate note, it's somewhat maddening to have the tantalising line "Can't wait to see next Saturday's..." on the little Facebook bit of your blog but being denied the rest of the sentence. I feel like I'm missing out on something!

Stephen Glenn said...

Aw just for you Jeff.

Stephen can't wait to see next Saturday's Doctor Who. If only I could remember where I hid my Tardis.


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