Transgender Punchline?

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I am really blown away by what happened in the last 24 hours.

I was reading an article on some website and in the bottom of the page was a small javascript ad, “Who’s the next Totino’s Pizza Stuffers Mom? Watch the auditions.”. What caught my eye was the image of the “mom” – an obviously cross-dressed man. I clicked on the link which took me to the Tontino’s web page and advertising campaign for the “Totino’s Mom”. I watched the video, “Group B”. The first two moms were quite funny, but then they had to ruin it with a “man-in-a-dress” gag.
Horrified at once again being the punch line for an ad that was in poor taste I rushed to and composed a petition to General Mills asking the CEO, Director of Marketing, and Director of Sales to pull the offensive ad. The petition can be found here:
The text of the petition:

“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.”

I was quite disappointed that only 69 of my contacts signed my petition. My last petition drew well over 50,000 signatures and the company never yielded. To my surprise, I received an email from General Mills this evening – less than 24 hours after posting the petition:
“We’ve received the petitions you started through, 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 Miller 
General Mills Brand PR”
To their credit, not only did they pull the YouTube video, but have killed the entire ad campaign. I would ask that you judge for yourself the nature of the offense, but the ads are completely gone. I have to say, I could have never expected this kind of positive response.
I was able to retreive the original video from my browser’s cache.
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