Actor, Neil Patrick Harris, faces accusations of “mocking Christianity” and pushing a “gay agenda” for his appearance in an advert for the Super Bowl.
The promo has come under fire, as some critics have said that the How I Met Your Mother star mimics Tim Tebow, a New York Jets quarterback, who often uses under eye paint to print bible verses.
Neil Patrick Harris’s eyeblack contains the words “Feb 3, 2013,” the date of the NFL championship final.
Conservative news website, WND, posted an article criticising the actor, as well as the network, CBS. The article read:
“CBS, the television network airing the big game this year, is now using an outspoken homosexual actor to mimic Tim Tebow’s style of trumpeting messages in eyeblack on his face.
“One football fan who watched the CBS promo Sunday made the connection between Harris and Tebow, saying, ‘They’re pushing a gay agenda by using him, and they’re mocking Christians at the same time.’”
Mr Patrick Harris tweeted to dispel any claims that there was an agenda behind the image. He said:
“I must say I’m very excited for the Super Bowl. I love football – look forward to it every year. #noagenda.”
Others have drawn a comparison with a totally different celebrity. Singer, Beyoncé, wore eyeblacks containing exactly the same text, in promotion of her halftime performance on 3 Feb.
Neil Patrick Harris and his fiancé, David Burtka, are the fathers of twins. He came out as gay in November 2006, and said:
“I am happy to dispel any rumours or misconceptions and am quite proud to say that I am a very content gay man living my life to the fullest and feel most fortunate to be working with wonderful people in the business I love.”
Not the first time such messages on eyeblack have caused controversy, as in September, Yunel Escobar, 29, of the Toronto Blue Jays, wore eyeblack, emblazoned with the words “tu ere” and “maricon”, which translates loosely into English as “You are a faggot”.