Twice in just 24 hours, Good Morning America on ABC hailed a graham cracker company for supporting gay rights in an ad and standing up against "hate" and "bigots" who called for a boycott. Yet, it was just last week that the same program touted the "game changing" firing of a tech company CEO who supported traditional marriage. The network even used video footage to compare the executive to the hateful Westboro Baptist Church.
On Monday, Paula Faris showcased a Honey Maid commercial featuring gay families. Reporter Paula Faris explained that "the right-wing conservative group One Million Moms calling the ad, quote, 'an attempt to normalize sin." She praised, "but this morning, the graham cracker company is refusing to crumble." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] According to Faris, the company is "rolling messages of hate into one of love." GMA Sunday anchor Bianna Golodryga lectured that "the graham cracker's clever statement against bigotry going viral."
As if the network's stance wasn't clear enough, journalist Mara Schiavocampo proclaimed that "Honey Maid's new commercial has generated a whole lot of love."
On Monday, business writer Julie Zefeloff called the original ad and Honey Maid's follow-up commercial "a really fantastic move."
Apparently, threatened boycotts against gay marriage are hateful, but boycotts against those who support traditional marriage only warrant positive coverage. On April 4, reporter Linsey Janis called the successful efforts to oust Mozilla CEO a "game changer." The GMA reporter's segment included background footage of Westboro Baptist protesters with "God hates fags signs," equating executive Brendan Eich's 2008 donation in support of Prop 8 in California to the hateful organization.
CBS This Morning on Monday also covered the Honey Maid story. But, in a seperate story, the program actually considered whether the removal of the Mozilla CEO was a good thing:
JAN CRAWFORD: Over the weekend, comedian Bill Maher seemed to take issue with the way Eich was forced out of his job and that is a sentiment that is now shared by a growing number of gay rights supporters.
CRAWFORD: It was only a quick joke but coming from an outspoken social liberal like Bill Maher, it took many by surprise.
BILL MAHER: I think there is a gay mafia. I think if you whack th cross them, you do get whacked. I really do.
CRAWFORD: Conservatives, normally targets of Maher's barbs, found themselves in rare agreement.
NEWT GINGRICH: This is just the most open, blatant example of the new fascism, which says if you don't agree with us 100 percent , we have the right to punish you.
A transcript of the April 7 GMA segment is below:
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: We're going to move on to that big controversy over Honey Maid graham crackers. The company received a flood of angry comments after it featured biracial and gay families in its ad. And now, it's fighting fire with friendliness. ABC's Paula Faris has the story.
PAULA FARIS: It was the ad for a sweet snack that generated a bitter backlash.
AD: Every day wholesome snacks for every wholesome family.
FARIS: Honey Maid featuring those interracial and gay parents in an ad for graham crackers that's been viewed more than five million times since posted online in March.
GARY OSIFCHIN (Created ad/Sr. Marketing director, Mondelez Int.): It's about recognizing that the American family's changed over the decades and our product line has changed in parallel with that changing dynamics.
FARIS: But the uproar was almost immediate one person tweeting "Your TV commercial is awful." Another, "Bye-bye, Honey Maid snacks. Not in my house." Even the right-wing conservative group One Million Moms calling the ad, quote, "an attempt to normalize sin." But this morning the graham cracker company is refusing to crumble.
AD: This is wholesome.
FARIS: Firing back with this follow-up ad, surround the negative responses with positive ones. And literally rolling messages of hate into one of love.
OSIFCHIN: It's actually a simple message that love conquering all.
JULIE ZEFELOFF (deputy editor, Business Insider): I think that the world we live in now where social media plays such a prominent role in our lives, companies feel that they can and often should react to backlash to criticism. For Honey Maid, this was a really fantastic move.
FARIS: The new ad has been viewed more than two million times since posted last week. Honey Maid hoping its message of tolerance sticks once an for all. For Good Morning America, Paula Faris, ABC News, New York.