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Tesco ‘very sorry’ for displaying ‘offensive G*y Best Friend’ inflatable doll on website

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Reader comments

  1. I roared laughing when I read that Ben Summerskill thinks that “most” of us, but not “all” are better looking than the Tesco’s inflatable. Not sure if I’m confident enough to be seen outside today!

    1. de Villiers 27 Sep 2013, 7:28pm

      I agree – but it is irritating that word gay was written on the Tesco website with an asterisk to read “g*y” as if the word requires to be censored.

    2. karen elliott 29 Sep 2013, 1:06pm

      haha i love your comment….very funny x

  2. First world problems? Does it perpetuate some stereotypes? Absolutely. Really to scream “offensive” is a bit dull given its a light hearted joke based entirely on images and pop culture references that are already out there in the public domain. Frankly he looks more interesting than a lot of the gay guys I meet in bars.

    1. Sadly, what he says sounds similar to a lot of gay guys you hear in bars, and the camp stereotype that is perpetuated in the media of vacuous fashionista gay men.

    2. I always think the best way to test this is to substitute the ‘gay’ with something else. So would inflatable stereotypes of ‘black’, ‘jewish’, ‘chinese’, ‘muslim’, ‘disabled’ etc ever be considered acceptable and put up for sale?
      It’s a bit annoying when some straight people and even some LGBT people who see themselves reflected by the stereotypes insist that we should just have a sense of humour about ourselves, which is fine, but gay does not equal the stereotype of gay; so it’s hard to have a sense of humour about an ubiqitous stereotype, that let’s face it is still widely viewed and perpetuated as basically true of all of us, when you don’t relate to any of its characteristics at all.
      The inflatable gay stereotype accessory is really awful and I know it’s ‘PC gone mad’ etc to say something is offensive these days but this is. Are there more serious issues facing the LGBT community? Absolutely, but it doesn’t make this any better.

      1. Well it’s incredibly tacky and it’s definitely in very poor taste… but at least personally, the word “offensive” implies something much more serious, like offensive would be if they’d been selling an “inflatable AIDS-ridden cock-sucker”. If we extend the analogy to ethnic groups, I’d find an inflatable Arab with a turban and a magic carpet tacky and in poor taste, but I’d find an inflatable Arab suicide bomber unambiguously offensive.

        1. That’s probably a better way to put it, I think this may just be a personal bugbear for me because it’s a stereotype that so many gay men try to enforce too. Your examples are interesting I think because if you seperate the ethnicity/religion from the characteristic (i.e. just ‘terrorist’) I think you could get away with it; similarly if this was say something like inflatable ‘camp confidante’ (maybe that’s as cheap and tacky) it wouldn’t bother me because it’s the characteristics, the role, the novelty etc, the thing they mean and want to sell without attaching it to a group it doesn’t universally apply to. For example the character Lucy the Slut would be offensive if they called her ‘Lucy the Woman’ and intended ‘woman’ to imply what ‘slut’ does as though it describes all women. If that makes any sense?
          It’s really hard to disagree with someone with a white mage icon though to be honest.

    3. How about if Tesco has an inflatable “bl*ck” friend? Would that be offensive? If so, would it be more offensive for any racial stereotyping, or the fact that someone at Tesco felt the word “black” had to be censored?

  3. I wonder what the 9 year olds in Indonesia, who make these things for Tesco think?

  4. Robert in S. Kensington 27 Sep 2013, 2:08pm

    For a moment, looking at that photo reminded me of a re-branded Chris Bryant.

    1. And your b**ch comment sounds like the sort of thing the doll would say if it could speak. Stereotype.

      1. Robert in S. Kensington 27 Sep 2013, 4:47pm

        Lighten up, it was said tongue in cheek. I happen to be an ardent fan of Chris Bryant and admire his resolve to stand up against the bigoted Tories during the marriage debate to really call them out on their blatant homophobia.

  5. If they’re removing the gay best friend dolls does that mean the Harry Styles one will have to go as well.
    And WTF is Living Dead Dolls Scary Tales Snow White in a coffin all about –

    cheer lunch up though

  6. GulliverUK 27 Sep 2013, 2:34pm

    They’re sorry now .. now that every mainstream paper has picked up the story and it’s national Tesco-bashing day.

    Why don’t they vet what 3rd party re-sellers put on the Tesco web site? Their reputation has taken a big kicking today. Why don’t they put their money where their mouth is and give a donation to Stonewall, or the Albert Kennedy Trust, or similar. Help fight against homophobia, not allow their name to be used to promote it.

    1. They’ll only commit to spending money on this if they’re forced to with continued bad press. This is a corporation after all, they don’t just give away money unless it’s going to do something for them.

      Give it a day or two, and once they’ve read enough comments like this one they’ll weigh up the losses compared to a modest donation and probably come to the conclusion that it’s time to “invest” some money by “donating”.

      There is no such thing as charity and altruism for a corporation like Tesco – only PR and wise investment in damage limitation.

  7. Peter Gregory 27 Sep 2013, 2:40pm

    The obvious question: what do you blow into in order to inflate?

    1. now that is a real issue!

  8. Its a bit tasteless but I am not really that offended. Only idiots think we act like that stereotype, I reject it ! Hey how many gay 23 year old pilots, PhD students who know their way around a gun do you know?

    Its a bit of a joke after all

  9. Peter & Michael 27 Sep 2013, 5:59pm

    Well, if Tesco wish to denigrate Gay men with g*y wording and not facing up to the fact that Gay men shop at Tesco, we feel it is time to move our custom elsewhere, Morrisons stock GT and Attitude but not at our local Tesco Extra !

  10. It’s highly offensive. Who would wear pink with that complexion?!

  11. I have never in my entire life seen “g*y” as a word. It’s like censoring “Jew” as “J*w” – ridiculous ! Jew isn’t an offensive word, why censor it?! Crazy

  12. this is really the most important issue i’ve ever faced not.

  13. karen elliott 29 Sep 2013, 1:05pm

    what amazed me is the targeted age group of 3-4 !! at that age i doubt any child understands about sexuality or what the word gay means. its a pathetic attempt to make money and insults gay people all over the world….i have had several friends who are gay and im proud to know them. why censor the word like its rude or something…its a way of life not an offence.

  14. ..can you really believe this? It appears that people who aren’t gay think that all GAY People are not important, don’t have feelings or are decent human beings. This has got to stop or we’ll keep getting the same stereotypical rubbish!! At every turn.

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