Samsung pulls ad featuring a Muslim mom's loving acceptance of her drag-queen son after a conservative backlash in Singapore

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Samsung pulls ad featuring a Muslim mom's loving acceptance of her drag-queen son after a conservative backlash in Singapore
A still from the deleted Samsung advert.Samsung/WakeUpSingapore
  • Samsung axed an advert in its Singapore market showing a mom supporting her drag queen son.
  • The company said Tuesday that said some customers found it "insensitive and offensive."
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Samsung pulled an advert in which a Muslim mother expressed support for her drag queen son, following what it said was a backlash.

In the advert, produced by Samsung's Singapore arm, the mother listens to a message from her son in which he says: "You are just unbothered having people looking or judging you differently, having a son that does drag."

Singapore is a conservative nation with a substantial Muslim population. Sex or marriage between people of the same sex is illegal, though it is rare for the corresponding laws to be enforced.

Even so, the government has refused to remove the legislation because it reflects the country's conservative values.

Samsung said in a Facebook post-Tuesday that it was aware that "some members of our local community" found the advert "insensitive and offensive" and had removed the advert as a result.

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An archived version of the advert can be viewed here.

"We acknowledge that we have fallen short in this instance and have since removed the content from all public platforms," Samsung wrote.

"Samsung believes that innovation and growth are driven by diversity and inclusivity. We will certainly be more mindful and thorough in considering all perspectives and viewpoints for our future marketing campaigns."

Samsung limited replies to its Facebook post.

Though the company cited issues with the "local community," the true size of the backlash is unclear.

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The news outlet Wake Up Singapore noted that there were more outraged social media posts on the removal of the advert than the existence of the drag queen advert in the first place.

The LGBT group Pink Dot Singapore said in a statement on Instagram: "To date, it is still unclear what these people were offended by the fact that LGBTQ+ people exist in Singapore, or that we are deserving of loving relationships, or both."

"We should also be able to express these loving relationships freely, regardless of those who want to shame us back into silence simply because they find us offensive."

Pink Dot Singapore identified the queen in the advert as Vyla Virus.

In an Instagram post Thursday, Vyla Virus thanked people for support and said his boy form and his mother were "doing well."

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Samsung did not immediately respond to a request for more detailed information on the backlash from Insider.

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