The same week China banned depictions of gay people on TV, McDonald’s unveiled an ad in neighboring Taiwan that depicts a son telling his father he likes boys.
The 90-second McDonald’s ad released Friday shows what appears to be a tense conversation after a son hands his father a McCafé cup with a note that reads “I like boys.” The father walks away from the table but comes back with a warm message.
According to the local Taiwanese publication Shanghaiist, the father “writes three characters on the coffee cup which make the sentence read, ‘I accept that you like boys.’”
Shanghaiist points out at least one religious group has condemned the ad.
“Because McDonald’s is frequented by many children, it is especially important to oppose the promotion of same-sex behavior,” wrote the head of the Alliance of Taiwan Religious Groups for the Protection of Family. The group’s leader said the organization “rebukes and boycotts all enterprises that are polluting the next generation.”
Same-sex unions are legal in some Taiwanese cities but national efforts have been stalled.
According to some reports the commercial has been shared close to two million times on social media sites. On YouTube the ad has close to 900,000 views and 4,300 thumbs up votes. So far the video has 188 thumbs down votes.
McDonald’s did not respond to Fusion’s requests for comment about the Taiwanese ad. Previously company officials have said that each of its more than 100 markets creates its own ad campaigns. In 2010 a McDonald’s commercial in France depicted a teenager who had a romantic interest in his male classmate. The ad encouraged customers to "come as you are."