Sunday, April 6, 2014

Canada's Centre for Digital and Media Literacy

The theme to these texts, focuses on how media produces, legitimized or de-legitimatizes gay and lesbian people.  I found the timeline of the evolution of the portrayal of homosexuality in film interesting:

  • 1890's-1930's- They were portrayed as comedic, "sissies," and "floppish"
  • 1930's-1950's-The Hays Code required no every homosexual characters, so characters displayed this through behaviors and mannerisms instead.
  • 1960's-1970's- Portrayals in film were negative from dangerous,k violent, predatory or suicidal 
  • 1990's- Improvement was made in portrayal,  showing that viewers enjoyed films with gay characters such as Birdcage.
  • 2005- The lucrative aspect of gay films was confirmed with Brokeback Mountain.  
Clearly we can see the positive evolution of homosexuality in film over a century, but perhaps the other key issue in queer representations in media is there is still a great deal of stereotypes in the marketing.  Marketing can be a powerful tool for the gay/lesbian media, but there is also a serious challenge when it comes to the negative aspects of marketing.  For example, the text talks about Pink Dollar Marketing which claims to help.  Below I have looked up and posted examples of the three types of ads still using stereotyping when involving homosexuality in ads:
1.  "Ads that feature queer people marketed to heterosexual mainstream"

In this Expedia commercial, a father talks about his struggle with acceptance of his daughter marrying a woman.  He accepts and understands the situation and flew out to California.  

2.  "Ads that target queer people on behalf of companies within the heterosexual mainstream"

This is a commercial for Bertolli Oven Baked Meals that won an award by GLADD fro being the most fair, accurate and inclusive representation of LGBT communities affect their lives.  In this commercial, it shows two gay men at dinner.  One is so impressed with the pre-made meal that he fantasizes about being at a restaurant and his gay lover snaps him out of his fantasy.  It shows them in their living room sitting at a coffee table eating their dinner.  

3.  "Ads produced by queer oriented companies for a  queer demographic"

These homosexual artists are in business together and sell  paintings and clothing that makes bold statements such as the t-shirt below.  

These are the gay designers Adrian and Shane

This text reminded be of last week's reading, "Cinderella Ate My Daughter."  The aspect of the Disney Princess franchise sticks out the most as stereotyping in multiple ways to set a culture of little girls believing a fantasy.  The stereotypical message of the Disney Princess is little girls must be beautiful, bait the man and give up important values and morals to run off with the prince. When looking at the LBGT message in stereotypes is that gays are used as a shock value in commercials.  For example, the text refers to a ad where a heterosexual male is caught behaving in a homosexual way he is embarrassed and has to explain it away.  Also, homosexuality is portrayed as not being the main character but always the supporting character of a heterosexual main character.  The homosexual character is not portrayed as having any relationships or love interests.  This is clearly very similar to Disney Princess Culture where images and stereotypes are set  unrealistically.  

My final question would be where in media is homosexuality most shunned?  In my opinion, it appears that films have helped bring homosexuality into a new light and celebrities like Ellen DeGeneres have been role models.  Not being a TV watcher, I am not sure how much homosexuality or innuendos are on mainstream commercials.  It would be interesting to see where the gaps are in the media and why they are occurring.  


  1. I agree and also mentioned in my post that a key issue in queer representation in media is that there is still a great deal of stereotypes in the marketing. Although there are some positive images being advertised, the negative images are more apparent. I love the ad you mentioned, with the two, gay men, who sell paintings and clothing's that make bold statements. I think it's great that they did this, and it seems like it could help others not be ashamed of who they are... and have others have more confidence.

  2. i also like the two gay men who make tshirts and such. it really does help people have more confidence. i think ellen also helps with the confidence because although she is famous she acts like a "normal" person. i mentioned on someone elses blog in a comment that in response to Barilla's anti gay comment a few months ago, a fellow pasta brand came out with a tv commercial that starred different types of couple but the couples were pasta. there were "couples" of all diff types. including same sex ones where the pasta couples were just the same type of pasta

  3. It is almost impossible to escape from stereotypes! I really like the images you chose; the pictures of the two gay men, who sell paintings and clothing is really cool.

  4. wow the commercials you posted were very interesting, I have never seen them on TV. I will say I used to be a huge TV watcher back in the day but I do not remember seeing any commercials with queer representation. TV show have gotten better. Modern Family is the one that comes to find first.

    nice post!