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Mediaworks pulling "the boy" Top Model ads

Wed 8 Feb 2012 In: New Zealand Daily News View at Wayback

An ad campaign which labels transgender America’s Next Top Model contestant Isis “the boy” is being removed, after complaints it’s offensive to the transgender community. “The Top Model ad campaign is certainly not intended to be offensive, nor controversial, and we apologise for any offense it has caused,” says a statement from Mediaworks, Four’s owner. “We see it as enormously positive that a hit mainstream show such as ANTM features gay and transgender contestants, and believe that Isis will be one of the stars of the upcoming series,” the network says. “We have, however, received feedback over the past few days that the tagline ‘The Boy is back’ used on the posters featuring Isis is offensive to the transgender community, and in response have already taken steps to have the posters in question removed. Mediaworks is expecting all posters to have been taken down by the end of the week. Auckland-based trans advocacy and support group Genderbridge says the ad promotes prejudiced views that transgender people are actually the gender they were assigned at birth. “It is deeply socially irresponsible to promote this attitude toward transgender people, who already struggle with discrimination due to not being accepted as the gender they identify as,” says the group’s Chair Jaimie Veale. “For example, in 2011 there were 221 deaths globally related to hate or bias on the basis on gender identity. Advertising agencies need to be aware of the tragic effects of ignorance and prejudice for the transgender community.”    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Wednesday, 8th February 2012 - 5:08pm

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