CMI’s Dan Gainor Appeared on ‘Today’ Show About J.CREW Ad

On Tuesday, April 13, the Media Research Center’s vice president for business and culture appeared on the NBC ‘Today’ Show to discuss a recent controversy involving a J.CREW ad featuring a little boy wearing pink toe nail polish.

The two minute five second video segment provided a not-so balanced look at the nationwide debate surrounding the ad and the question of whether or not J.CREW executive creative director Jenna Lyons is exploiting her son’s favorite color to sell nail polish and clothing through her employer.

Video below the fold.

“It’s not painting someone’s toenails, its painting a 5-year-old boy’s toenails hot pink or what’s the word they use, neon,” Gainor told the ‘Today’ show. “I mean, it’s gender-bending. To do it with a 5-year-old boy, just significantly crosses the line.”

“Today” aired just 14 seconds of Gainor’s interview, and he was the lone voice of criticism and defender of traditional gender roles. The rest was taken up by Dean Kilodavis, father of the famous “princess boy,” a mother whose son was featured on NBC last November for wanting to dress up as a female Scooby Doo character for Halloween, and a progressive psychologist, Dr. Ken Corbett.

“Yes I think society is too quick to reinforce and push boys and girls into pre-assigned gender roles,” Corbett told NBC.

But it was the four minute and nine second follow up segment hosted by Meredith Vieira that delved into even more propaganda. Dr. Robyn Silverman, a child and teen development expert, and Cheryl Kilodavis, a former Today Show guest, famous for her “princess boy” son Dyson, were the featured experts to comment on the controversy.

“We’ve seen instances of parents, several parents who say ‘We’re not gonna define our children by certain stereotypical gender IDs’ and if the parents are ok with it, and the kids are ok with it, then what is the big issue?” Vieira asked Dr. Silverman, failing to recognize the controversy of selling clothing by blurring gender lines.

“This is an ad to sell a product,” replied Dr. Silverman. “We’re dealing with play. Normal play. The child is 5-years-old. Every child should be able to play, experiment with different roles, experiment with different facets of gender. That is normal development. And what we want is normal development.”

Matthew Philbin
Matthew Philbin
Matt Philbin is Managing Editor of MRC Culture