Tesco, the British grocery store chain, just released a Christmas-holiday ad featuring a gay couple and a Muslim family fussing over the traditional turkey meal. The ad is part of Tesco’s #EveryonesWelcome campaign and follows up an animated 2016 Christmas season ad from their rival Sainsbury’s featuring a lesbian couple.
In the commercial, a blonde bespectacled man crouching down and looking into the oven. He asks, “Did you take the giblets out?” Looking up at his partner — a brunette man wearing a Christmas sweater and holding a baby dressed as Santa Claus says, “Giblets?” apparently unaware of what the word even means.
While many YouTube commenters have complained about the commercial’s diversity, most negative comments are focused on the Muslim family featured in the ad rather than the male same-sex couple.
Watch the Tesco Christmas ad below:
The commenters seem largely offended by the concept of a deliberately diverse ad. One writes, “Has no one at Tesco realised that we’re all sick of having diversity shoved down our throats? The more you try force something on people the more they’ll push back. It’s no fun watching an advert, movie, TV show etc. if it feels like a lecture.”
Another viewer responded to this comment with, “Ah yes, I know I feel terribly insulted when anyone tries to include me in things. Hopefully you decline if someone ever tries to include you in child making.”
Almost none of the comments specifically mention the gay couple, but several allude to the Muslim family shown in the ad. One commenter provocatively asks, “Where are all the Christians?” and another chimes in, “Being persecuted in Lebanon, Egypt, Syria, Iraq and other majority Muslim countries.” Yet another Islamophobic comment says, “Let’s make a Christian Ramadan and see what could happen. What could go wrong?”
But all these comments miss two facts. First, Unlike Ramadan, Christmas is largely a secular consumerist national holiday. Lots of non-Christians celebrate it. The fact that Muslims might recognize it as a time for family is evidence of Muslims assimilating into mainstream British culture.
Second, one can imagine that pretty much every other family shown in the advertisement is Christian, so pretending that the one-minute ad somehow oppresses the majority religion in Britain is absurd.