Metro Weekly

Conservatives Slam Oreo For Short LGBTQ Film

Social conservatives have a meltdown after Oreo's releases an LGBTQ-affirming ad in collaboration with PFLAG.

Oreo cookie – Photo: Anshuman Mohapatra, via pexels.

Conservatives are melting down over a private corporation expressing support for the LGBTQ community, this time targeting Oreo over a short film it produced along with PFLAG depicting a young man coming out to his family. 

 The Note, directed by Alice Wu, depicts a Chinese-American man practicing a coming-out speech in front of a few family members as he prepares to tell his grandmother about his sexual orientation.

As he prepares to greet his grandmother, his mother slips him a note. “She might be my mother, but you are my son.”

The film ends with a message: “Coming out doesn’t happen just once. Be a lifelong ally.”

While The Note is an advertisement for Oreo, it’s not a typical 30-second ad pitching the brand’s cookies as one would normally see on TV.  Instead, it’s a two-and-a-half-minute film, accessible on the Web, that reinforces Oreo’s support for the LGBTQ community.

Its purpose isn’t to sell cookies, but to communicate the brand’s values.

According to Fast Company, the film is the latest in a multiyear collaboration between Oreo and the LGBTQ organization PFLAG National, and is the launching point for its new #LifelongAlly campaign, for which Oreo is also donating $500,000 to PFLAG.

The Note is not Oreo’s story,” Oreo senior brand manager Olympia Portale told Fast Company. “Oreo is there to lend our megaphone to the community we want to support, to illustrate the message we, as a brand, want to stand behind.”

Portale added that the commercial is based on the idea that coming out isn’t just a one-time experience, but part of an ongoing process.

“For many people, the only time their parents or family even acknowledge that they’re in this community is in that first moment,” she said. “That [subsequent] silence can last years and can be really harmful. So we wanted to show that being an ally, being supportive to family members, isn’t just about saying ‘I love you, and I support you’ in that one moment, but how you show up in an active way, so that individual feels you have their back all the time.”

Social conservatives have blasted the commercial, accusing Oreo of caving to the demands of the “woke Left” and virtue-signaling. Some even hinted at the prospect of boycotting the company and its products — as right-wing groups like One Million Moms have previously attempted to do.

“COOKIE!” Newsmax host Greg Kelly wrote on Twitter, deploying a photo of Sesame Street’s Cookie Monster. “I love COOKIES. C is for COOKIE. COOKIE IS FOR ME. I do NOT like GAY COOKIES. ‘Sexuality’ has NOTHING TO DO with the Cookie experience. Cookies are for ALL! Basically Cookies are ‘asexual’—why is the WOKE LEFT messing around with OREOS?!?! STOP THE INSANITY.”

Kelly continued his rant in more tweets. “Since @oreo is “coming out” I’m going to remind everyone that OREOS SUCK,” he tweeted. “Taste like Driveway Gravel. Not MOIST. Even Nabisco knows the truth — the cookies are too DRY. Milk Reliant, not a stand along cookie. Go with the FIG NEWTON. WE don’t care about Mr Fig’s orientation!”

A few hours later, Kelly tweeted, “STAY THE HELL AWAY FROM OREO COOKIES.”

Lila Rose, an anti-abortion activist who has slowly become more known for her stances on other conservative issues, including opposition to LGBTQ rights, tweeted that Oreo should “stop sexualizing children,” despite the fact that the main character in the commercial appears to be an adult man, not a minor.

Conservative Ben Shapiro took a dig at the brand as well, mocking the commercial with the tweet, “Your cookie must affirm your sexual lifestyle.”

He followed that up with another tweet: “Again, the chief reply here seems to be: ‘How dare you notice that a cookie company is now running ads on sexual orientation?’ Guys, the story is that every woke corporation now believes it must become an activist LGBTQIA+-%6& outlet. And yes, that’s a story.”

Many conservatives have accused corporations of pandering to the cultural Left by embracing “woke” ideology, a pejorative, vague, umbrella term that includes everything conservatives hate about modern-day progressive causes or movements, ranging from critical race theory to promoting alleged “cancel culture” to embracing LGBTQ rights, particularly the concept of gender identity.

Still others have begun accusing corporations that specifically embrace LGBTQ rights or speak out against anti-LGBTQ legislation of seeking to “groom” or “indoctrinate” children — reviving a decades-old trope about gays and LGBTQ individuals that paints them as sexual predators who “recruit” new members. 

Oreo has previously weathered attacks from conservatives for its support of the LGBTQ community. In 2012, the company received backlash for a Facebook post featuring a cookie stacked high with rainbow-colored icing alongside the comment, “Proudly support love!” Conservatives were incensed that the company would side with the LGBTQ community at a time when the debate over legalizing same-sex marriage was at its peak. 

The Note is not Oreo’s first short film highlighting the LGBTQ community. In 2020, the company released a film, OREO Proud Parent, also produced in conjunction with PFLAG. That commercial features a young woman bringing her girlfriend home to meet her family.

Initially, the woman’s dad is chilly towards the couple, but changes his attitude after he sees a neighbor looking at his daughter and her girlfriend disparagingly. The video shows the dad painting his white picket fence the colors of the rainbow, with the tag line, “A loving world starts with a loving home.”

Despite calls for a boycott from the usual suspects at the time, the company appeared to not be impacted financially, and, by releasing The Note, Oreo appears to be doubling down on its commitment to allyship.

As such, it remains unclear whether any future boycotts by social conservatives would even be successful. As one Twitter user sarcastically noted to one self-professed boycotter: “This ‘Oreo boycott’ happened 10 years ago too, before gay marriage was even legal. Soooo many people swearing off Oreos. They somehow though, made it. But yes, I’m sure your boycott, Jeremy, is going to set the world on [fire].”

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