An ad for McDonald’s has sparked considerable debate in Taiwan following its debut last Friday. The commercial features a tender moment between a father and his son, in which the son writes “I like boys” on the side of a McDonald’s coffee cup.
The father abruptly leaves in a moment of anger, but then returns with his own coffee. He picks up a pen and writes above his son’s message, “I accept that you like boys.”
Since Friday, the commercial has been viewed more than a million times on YouTube and the responses have been largely positive. However, Taiwan Family, a religious, anti-gay organization that promotes a traditional family structure, called for its supporters to boycott McDonald’s. “I feel corrupted even using their washroom,” read a statement issued by a member to Ming Pao, a Chinese language newspaper.
Murphy Chou, the chief creative officer at Leo Burnett Taiwan, the agency that produced the commercial, denied the ad was meant as a stance on same-sex relationships. Rather, Chou said, the ad is a portrayal of the issues faced by parents who wish to support their children, regardless of sexuality.
A recent poll in Taiwan showed that public support for same-sex marriage is at 71 percent, though it is not yet legal.
The Chinese government, meanwhile, which has continued to challenge Taiwan’s independence, recently banned all depictions of homosexual relationships of TV. Depictions of other “immoral” content including adultery, one-night stands, time travel, and reincarnation were also banned.