Culture

Networks Seven And Ten Block Anti-Marriage Equality Ad Because Logic And Reason

That iceberg metaphor, tho.

Earlier this week, we laughed uncontrollably at — and then sat down calmly to report on — new anti-marriage equality group Marriage Alliance’s debut campaign, which appears to be spearheaded by a tiny literal iceberg.

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Clearly not content with just exposure from our ~glowing~ review and some rather choice tweets, the group planned to run a TVC across all the major commercial TV networks this week. But according to Sydney Morning Herald, the 30-second old-man-yells-at-cloud has been rejected by networks Seven and Ten.

Titled ‘It’s Not As Simple As You Think’, the ad depicts an iceberg (marriage equality) and an oncoming ship about to go all Titanic (the doomed future of Australian society), and says: “It’s time to step back and consider all the issues around same-sex marriage – like how it will affect children, or sex education in schools, or even what rights you could lose.” We are then advised to visit their website, where absolutely no questions are answered (unless you consider more questions as answers?), except for the exact hour when the latest marriage equality bill is being voted on with an analog clock plugin they probably feel very clever about using.

Ten denied to comment on the issue, stating that due to company policy they “do not talk about [our] commercial arrangements”, and a spokesperson for Seven simply said: “We couldn’t accommodate their booking request. That’s about it.” But Sophie York, a spokesperson for Marriage Alliance and a Liberal Party member because of course she is, thinks (realises) the responses are deliberately aloof. “The fact they couldn’t fit it in just didn’t make sense… and it was a last-minute withdrawal. It’s actually inexplicable,” she says, of a rather explainable issue.

York is especially sus on the “soz can’t fit it in bye” response as both Channel Nine and Foxtel have approved and are currently airing the TVC. While Nine is screening the ad “in very selective timeslots”, Foxtel has defended its decision to air it for reasons of free speech, however they added they would also be running ads “in support of marriage equality when they are launched shortly”, so there.

Maintaining the fairytale belief that their organisation is totally open to seeing both sides of the debate and listening to and learning from opponents, York says all the ad does is let poor, corrupted minds know that they offer a “forum for people to debate an issue”. “We definitely have a position of supporting the current definition [of marriage]. But the difference is we are not going to turn away anyone who wants education about the issues … what we’re offering is information, a safe haven for people to learn about it.” (It should be noted that comments have been disabled on their YouTube channel and they are not offering any actual information).

Kind of adorably, York views the networks’ decision not to air the ad as a “compliment”, saying: “They obviously looked at it and thought, ‘It’s devastatingly effective. Beautiful graphics, it’s going to get everyone’s attention, and it’s a very powerful message.’ That’s my first reaction.”

Marriage Alliance’s ad, probably.

Naturally, the exhausted “freedom of speech” argument has been raised yet again — because exercising your vague right to talk loudly at people is apparently more important than understanding that promoting anti-gay rights attitudes is harmful not just to LGBT individuals wanting to get married, but also to children of same sex parents dealing with stigmatisation at school, and other youths struggling with their sexuality. Groups like Marriage Alliance start to lose their right to speech when it’s part of why LGBT youth are four times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers.

Similar debate was sparked during Sydney’s Mardi Gras parade in March this year, when SBS refused to air an anti-marriage equality commercial, which called an angry old white dude a “Family Doctor” even though he was literally just an angry old white dude. Highly misinformed on actual parenting, and offensive not just to same-sex couples but also to single parents, it joined Christian Democratic Party leader Fred Nile’s own anti-anything that isn’t this family campaign on Twitter.

The ad has also been posted on Marriage Alliance’s YouTube account if you feel like experiencing hot flashes of rage: