Bil Browning

Taco Bell nacho drag vs Pupperoni

Filed By Bil Browning | March 23, 2009 10:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Media
Tags: offensive commercials, Pupperoni

This stirred up some conversation around here this weekend. Check out these two recent queer commercials from Taco Bell and Pupperoni. Do you find either of them offensive?




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I don't find either of them offensive. In the first spot, I see a pink poodle and boas. While the kid could be gay, even my cat would look at me with distaste, and Skylar is a BDSM kitty. The guy on skates was so incredibly over the top that I felt it wasn't trying to imply the guy was gay.

In the second spot, I know that frat bros are always trying new things to sneak food and booze into stadiums. If i were a bro, and my bro showed up in drag, I'd probably beat him down on principle, then hand him a six pack of PBR to stash under his blouse.

Harmless commercials... plain fun.

If i were a bro, and my bro showed up in drag, I'd probably beat him down on principle,

Are you serious? Even if that's a joke I find it incredibly disturbing and it makes me doubt that such commercials really are harmless.

Advocating violence on Bilerico is not supposed to be tolerated.......ban Nathan!

I could read the first commercial in three ways:

1. It's so wrong to be gay (conflating femininity with being gay)
2. It's so wrong to be a feminine male.
3. It's so wrong to be different

It's a commercial that prescribes normativity as the only -correct- way of life and tries to appeal to the established, dominant set of moral values. It's stupid.

The second commercial was just dumb.

Some (but not all) folk on a crossdressing forum got rather irate when I suggested that the Nacho ad was perpetuating the harmful stereotype of the deceitful TG (and therfore possibly going to hurt us in the constant rolling back of TG rights by the shower-panic-merchents).

They were caught up in seeing CDing on an ad and being happy that the person wasn't in clown-drag or 'inappropriately dressed' (their term not mine!) and I suspect many are in serious denial about how these things effect public perception.

I guess that they are so used to falling on any crumb that any portrayel of someone crossdressing that isn't obviously overly demeaning is clutched at as precious.

Kyle Flood Kyle Flood | March 23, 2009 6:27 PM

The first one is a little offensive, saying that someone expressing themselves is wrong.

The Taco Bell ad is not offensive to me. At no point do they make degrading comments or disgusted reactions. His friend is just surprised to see him that way.

Kyle, as a non trans-woman don't you think your opinion on whether or not the ad is offensive is at best not relevant?

As a group, gay men "get" transsexuality worse than any other group in the world including the religious right. Even Pat Robertson gets it, from the various comments I've seen you make here, it's clear you do not.

"Man in a dress" depictions are patently offensive to women of trans history..........period. They promote the idea of not being "real", that any failure to "pass" worthy of ridicule, are demeaning of women in general.

Kyle, as a non trans-woman don't you think your opinion on whether or not the ad is offensive is at best not relevant?

Not at all. I think his opinion is very relevant. That's why we post here - to get everyone's opinion. There is no tree to pee on and mark territory here.

Besides, how do you have a conversation if there's only one person talking? No one learns anything or expands their horizons that way...

Pee on a tree?........gee Bil, I'm a woman and that is close to impossible, it's a guy thang.

Well; I am Trans and I do find it extreemy offensive.

Apparently, my comment has been hashed about and I appear to be a violence-advocating, trans-insensitive douchebag.

I never back down from a statement I made, though I often regret when it is mistook. Unfortunately the commentary I made was read as violence advocating; that wasn't the case.

I wanted to express the feeling of a friend being met at a stadium by a scheming pal in drag, when that individual obviously isn't a CD or trans. Not from disgust but for the ridiculousness of the situation did I advocate the "beating down." And in hindsight, I should have wrote "tossed his wig" or "broke his heel," or maybe "glared in bemusement." the last phrase in the comment: "then hand him a six pack of PBR to stash under his blouse" meant that there wasn't anything wrong really and that the "violence" would have been playful among friends.

As I learn more and more from being a contributor on TBP, being sensitive on a public forum is key, especially when one is a representative of that forum. I apologize that the comment was offensive and could be construed as violence advocating.

Nathan, for what it's worth, my comment about banning you was supposed to be tongue firmly in cheek........

Of course now I am forced to turn you in to the authorities.

I really don't see any way to view the Pupperoni commercial in a positive manner. As wysiwyg14 said, there are only 3 ways to interpret it, and none of them are any good.

The Taco Bell commercial was just dumb and silly, but not really offensive. This is actually one of the least offensive commercials involving drag as humor I've ever seen. I actually did laugh, the idea is so stupid.

"As wysiwyg14 said, there are only 3 ways to interpret it, and none of them are any good."

Really? I disagree. How about:

4. The guy's outfit is loud and he's put a damn mohawk on his dog. I'd make fun of that too.

People who think is offensive need to stop looking for things to get offended about.

Rick Elliott | March 24, 2009 8:36 PM

I don't see these ads have anything to do with queer.

Well with civil rights being placed on the knifes edge of the voting booth all over the place I suggest that an ad that pushes the 'deceptive crossdresser' false stereotype might just effect peoples votes when they have the haters campaining that people will crossdress to rape women and assult children.

It's reinforcing the notion that Transgender is deception! And that false notion has lead to peoples deaths.

Pretty darn big queer issue then yes?

I think the misunderstanding over Nathan's comment is proof that anything can be offensive if you take it out of context. And I agree with his first point: the guy is supposed to be over-the-top and annoying. Not gay. Personally, i don't see this guy as gay or even feminine.

The second spot is frat-dumb.


""Man in a dress" depictions are patently offensive to women of trans history..........period. They promote the idea of not being "real", that any failure to "pass" worthy of ridicule, are demeaning of women in general."

How do you think they are to Crossdressers, male-anatomied (overall, not specifically genitals) Genderqueer and Bi-gender people?

Depictions of 'men in dresses' do effect women if trans history, but they aren't all about women of trans history!

There are others amongst the Sex & Gender Diverse community who are all also effected.

Bats,
First my gender is not "diverse".......hence not a member of any community you name. Second, crossdressers ARE, by definition, men in dresses, therefore your point (whatever it was supposed to be) makes no sense.

Actually I found the Pupperoni ad kinda offensive, because the dude was meant to be gay. Or at least that's how I took it. The dog is Nixon's "silent majority" or, you know, the opposite of those queer, librul, hippy freaks you see in the street. No matter how many there are of them and how few there are of "us," "we" surround "them," right, Glenn Beck?

The Taco Bell one, well, I'm interested in what people think, since that person is obviously neither trans or CD. But I guess that's kinda like that Snickers ad everyone was mad about a little while back with the two guys kissing and then beating each other up - they weren't gay but the message about homosexuality being offensive was clear.

Cindy shipley | March 30, 2009 4:45 PM

Are you serious; REALLY? This is pure offensive to the point of appology! None! Boycott this Company! Your not the group being degraded here!
Think if it was another minority group; what then?
I dare them; Idiots!

The dog commercial is just plain mean.

The transmisogyny in the Taco Bell commercial (we practically never see trans men or women in men's clothes in commercials do we?) is all too common in our culture. That's why I find this it offensive. My concern is that it reinforces yet again the concept of a trans person as being a deceiver, like in "The Crying Game" etc., which then reinforces the stereotype that trans women a "really men" in drag. It also reinforces the idea of a man wearing female styled clothes to break rules about entry, reinforcing the lie that male predators could use drag to get into ladies rooms to molest women and children if trans inclusive non discrimination laws are passed.

The overt message in this commercial is only slightly offensive but the assumptions underneath it, and the false conclusions it relies on to get its intended effect are very damaging to the attempts by our community to make the greater culture realize that trans women are not dishonest perverts bent towards invading prohibited spaces by faking their "real" gender/sex.

scotchfaster | April 1, 2009 4:40 AM

In the Taco Bell commercial, the message is that the nachos are so appealing that even a man who is NOT a cross-dresser will dress up as a woman in order to have them.

The "joke" wouldn't work if the man were an actual cross-dresser, trans individual or drag queen. The point is that HE is not, but he's willing to go in drag in order to have Taco Bell. That's how good the nachos are, supposedly.

How is this offensive, except in the banal way that most commercials are offensive? Is a straight man wearing a dress like a white person wearing blackface?