Fast food empire McDonald’s took an unexpected, socially conscious turn in Taiwan recently when it produced a commercial depicting a young man telling his father that he’s gay.
The commercial, titled Acceptance, is specifically for the McCafé coffee-house arm of the fast food chain and a part of its ongoing More Warmth in Conversations series. It opens with a shot of the father wearing a stern expression on his face as if something serious has just gone down.
The next shot shows that the man has, seemingly just seconds before, recieved a message from his son, which his son has written on his coffee cup in pen.
▼ “I like men.”
Without saying a word, the father abruptly gets up and leaves the table. The son looks crushed.
Moments later, the father returns. He then grabs the son’s cup and makes an addition to the note.
▼ “I accept that you like men.”
The son gets choked up and the father offers an accepting smile as they both enjoy a celebratory McCafé brand caffeinated beverage together. It’s a reminder that life is very short, and there’s no time for fussing and fighting, my friends—we can work it out with the great taste of McDonald’s coffee!
Seriously though, for what it is, the commercial was well-made and tastefully kept the self-promotion to a minimum. It has been largely well received so far by the 800,000-plus viewers on YouTube, and is also a daring move by such a large business which would, let’s be honest, probably financially benefit more by steering clear of controversial issues altogether.
Sadly, according to Shanghaiist, the ad has drawn the ire of the Alliance of Taiwan Religious Groups for the Protection of Family, which is calling for a total boycott of the chain. The group’s secretary-general, Chang Shou-yi, even made a statement about the advert, saying: “Even if you want to just take a leak at a McDonald’s bathroom, you can’t help but feel polluted.”
I’d have to admit I agree with Chang’s feelings about the bathrooms, but it has nothing to do with this commercial.