Here's an IKEA ad you'll never see in the U.S. A couple are strolling down the aisles when suddenly the woman notices pillows are on sale. She get so excited she yells out, "SALE!" Only because she's actually transgender, she forgets herself, and "SALE!" comes out in a deep masculine voice. In the next scene you see her boyfriend running away from her while she's not looking because OMG, he didn't know she was transgender and eww that's so freaky, right?!? The title of the ad is "Forget to Deceive."
This ad ran in Thailand, where transgenders are more visible than here in the U.S. (They're called "ladyboys.") One group, the Thai Transgender Alliance, was not amused by IKEA's commercial and said it was "disrespectful."
Aww, can't those transgender people take a joke? Sure they can. But here's why I agree the ad is disrespectful. The transgendered woman in the ad is "in the closet" -- apparently she hasn't told her male companion. She "forgot to deceive" her lover, which just makes her look cowardly and dishonest. And that plays into a stereotype that transgender people are running around trying to trick people into falling for them before finding out that they're transgender. Know what I mean? For the many transgender people living openly in Thailand, that's an insulting characterization.
And anyway, if the people represented by a character are offended, shut up everyone else! I'll never understand why people standing in a place of relative privilege feel entitled to tell people of color/homosexuals/transgendered people etc. what they SHOULDN'T be offended by. Who the fuck are you to say?!? If transgendered people are offended by IKEA's ad, I'll take their word for it.
What do you think about IKEA's ad?
Image via TvcThailandAd/YouTube