A rapid succession of derogatory words then appears on screen, "fudge packer, fruit loop, fairy, fag," and others, followed by the note "2,552 anti-gay incidents recorded in 1998."

Xander then says, "We have to make it safe for people, so they don't have to fear for their lives if they come out. Then concentrate on opening people's lives a little bit more." The familiar peacock logo for the station appears and the campaign's name, "Listen."

Xander is one of 11 youth who speak their minds about the modern world in the soft-selling WNBC-TV campaign.

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Company: General Electric Co.
    View Company Scorecard / Contact Company
Brand: WNBC-TV
Ad Title: Xander
Business Category: Media Outlets: Broadcasters-Publishers-Online-Games-Music
Media Outlets: Television
Country: United States
Region: North America, US Regional
Agency: WNBC in-house
Year: 1999, 2000
Target: Mainstream
Ad Spotter: Paula Madison
Company: General Electric Co.
    View Company Scorecard / Contact Company
Brand: WNBC-TV
Ad Title: Xander
Business Category: Media Outlets: Broadcasters-Publishers-Online-Games-Music
Media Outlets: Television
Country: United States
Region: North America, US Regional
Agency: WNBC in-house
Year: 1999, 2000
Target: Mainstream
Ad Spotter: Paula Madison
Company: General Electric Co.
    View Company Scorecard / Contact Company
Brand: WNBC-TV
Ad Title: Xander
Business Category: Media Outlets: Broadcasters-Publishers-Online-Games-Music
Media Outlets: Television
Country: United States
Region: North America, US Regional
Agency: WNBC in-house
Year: 1999, 2000
Target: Mainstream
Ad Spotter: Paula Madison
Company: General Electric Co.
    View Company Scorecard / Contact Company
Brand: WNBC-TV
Ad Title: Xander
Business Category: Media Outlets: Broadcasters-Publishers-Online-Games-Music
Media Outlets: Television
Country: United States
Region: North America, US Regional
Agency: WNBC in-house
Year: 1999, 2000
Target: Mainstream
Ad Spotter: Paula Madison
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Theme(s)

Consciousness Raising

GLBT Empowerment

Real GLBT Person

Theme Breakdown

AdRespect Score: 
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In a novel, edgy promotional campaign for General Electric Co.’s NBC network flagship station, WNBC-TV in New York City, one commercial raises awareness of homophobia and speaks with a gay teen. A 16-year-old who goes by the name Xander talks about coming out.

"I'm a gay teenager but that's not really me, I do other things," says Xander, with dyed red hair and a brick wall behind him. The words "Coming Out" flash across the screen. He continues, "It was just a great experience but for a lot of people it's not so good."

A rapid succession of derogatory words then appears on screen, "fudge packer, fruit loop, fairy, fag," and others, followed by the note "2,552 anti-gay incidents recorded in 1998."

Xander then says, "We have to make it safe for people, so they don't have to fear for their lives if they come out. Then concentrate on opening people's lives a little bit more." The familiar peacock logo for the station appears and the campaign's name, "Listen."

Xander is one of 11 youth who speak their minds about the modern world in the soft-selling WNBC-TV campaign.

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Xander , New York, NY
I am the person that appeared in this NBC "Voices" campaign. Imagine my excitement to find myself on Commercial Closet. I got the gig through The (Gay & Lesbian) Center. The whole experience was positive. There were no dumb questions like "What do gay people eat?" I had a more specific agenda that day. The issue that I really wanted to talk about was being gay in the larger context of me as a whole person, but they edited that out. That was unfortunate. It's nice to know that NBC specifically approached The Center, but it's too bad that they had to "mainstream" their message. We're making progress, but there's still a long way to go.

Max Shultz , Antioch, CA
Good for you, Xander. I was born in 1985. I myself am completly out, and a youth. I think this ad was better than "neutral =", I feel it is positive. Even before seing this ad, I have been wanting to make a music video in which I sing about homophobia, and like this ad written gay epithets are flashed on the screen.

Russell , Hanover, PA
Max is right: real is not "equal," real is "positive."

Simon , Dallas
There's no need to display anti-gay words like "fudgepacker" and others. I also feel the spot could have been more creative. I'm tired of seing gays sold as victims.

Toby , San Antonio, TX
Way to go, Xander! I believe that it is important to include anti-gay epithets such as "fudge packer," etc. Most of the people who use these terms are ignorant and don't even think about what they are saying.

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