I am really blown away by what happened in the last 24 hours.
“Stop making fun of transgender people in your advertising.Even since the Stonewall Riots in 1969, transgender people have been fighting a losing battle to gain acceptance and equality in our country. Our progress is hampered time and time again by misinformation and mischaracterization by politicians, many religious groups, and the media.Because of this, I find it offensive and reckless for General Mills to portray a non-female identified cross dresser as a punchline in their new “Totino’s Pizza Stuffers Mom Auditions: Group “B”” video on YouTube.
As states and municipalities labor to implement Gender Identity/Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Ordinances to prevent transgender people from being turned away from housing, employment, and public accommodations, time and time again the argument against devolves into “men in a dress using the women’s bathroom”. Transgender people are demonized and vilified as perverts, mentally unstable, and worse, pedophiles.
On November 20 each year, the transgender community and their allies remember all of the transgender people that have fallen victim to murder because of public fears and stereotypes propagated by ill-conceived rhetoric and ads such as this. Countless more are brutalized.
General Mills, please understand that transgender people can no longer be the punchline. No one is dying laughing – they’re just dying and you’re helping.”
“We’ve received the petitions you started through Change.org, and we thank you for reaching out. Our intention was not to be insensitive with the Totino’s video, but it’s clear this missed the mark. In short, we agree and we apologize. Please know that we took immediate action. We have removed the video from our YouTube channel and are in the process of removing it from other blogs and websites.
Please continue to share your thoughts. We do value them.
Aaron MillerGeneral Mills Brand PR”