Father's Day ad pulled for being 'too political'

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A commercial featuring a father singing to his baby to promote Father’s Day has been pulled from TV for being “too political”.

The commercial features a father singing his baby a lullaby while a woman, presumably the child’s mother watches on, will not be shown on TV after Free TV Australia informed not-for-profit group Dads4Kids that its Father’s Day ads “likely contained political matter”, according to News Corp.

The ad comes ahead of the government’s same-sex marriage postal ballot.

But the Weekend Sunrise team were left scratching their heads trying to figure out “which side the commercial is for”.

Some have argued the ad establishes heterosexual couples as 'the norm'. Source: Sunrise
Some have argued the ad establishes heterosexual couples as 'the norm'. Source: Sunrise

Commentator Gretel Killeen, who grew up without a father, said the ad was “nice and sweet” but the people calling for it to be taken down are “probably doing the right thing”.

“Though there’s no legal precedent, and it’s not a plebiscite remember it’s a survey, this is the ridiculous time we’re in,” she said.

“It does establish, because of there heterosexual couple appearing in there, it does establish what could be perceived as norm.”

Ms Killeen said she “did not advocate this” but it was “the climate” Australians were in because of “what the government had led us to”.

Sunrise co-host Monique Wright pointed out not all the fathers were seen with partners. Source: Sunrise
Sunrise co-host Monique Wright pointed out not all the fathers were seen with partners. Source: Sunrise

Macquarie Radio host Chris Smith said the push to have the ad pulled was similar to an incident involving a law firm recently, where lawyers campaigned for a yes vote without consulting partners of the firm or its employees.

“It sounds like it’s almost been done by those sorts of lawyers who were so politically correct, so sensitive about this stuff,” he said.

“It’s madness.”

Mr Smith asked why the TV networks didn’t stand up to Free TV Australia and push for the ad to air and said the ad was representative “of a majority of scenarios”.

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But Weekend Sunrise co-host Andrew O’Keefe suggested it was because “people were so afraid of offending anyone.”

“We’re finding offence where there is no offence to be found,” he said.

Ms Killeen said it was easy for the panel to not find offence in the ad because all of them are heterosexual.

“We do not know how this feels to have normative relationships established on TV,” she said.

Commentator Gretel Killeen said having the ad pulled showed Australia's current political climate. Source: Sunrise
Commentator Gretel Killeen said having the ad pulled showed Australia's current political climate. Source: Sunrise

“It’s all fine for us to say, ‘this is ridiculous’.

“This ad did not, as far as I’m aware, run last year or the year before, or the year before. So it’s release is perhaps unfortunate timing because we have this survey coming up.”

Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott told the Australian the pulling of the commercial was an example of bullying by activists.

“If you don’t like being bullied by activists, vote no,” Mr Abbott said.

Former PM Tony Abbott said the decision to have the ad pulled was an example of activists bullying people. Source: Sunrise
Former PM Tony Abbott said the decision to have the ad pulled was an example of activists bullying people. Source: Sunrise

Sunrise co-host Monique Wright said Ms Killeen’s comments were “counter” to the former PM’s argument.

“People are frightened that things are going to become too politically correct,” she said.

“This is the Tony Abbott line – if you’re against political correctness vote no.

“Can’t we just say this [advertisement] is just representing one family?”

Ms Wright also pointed out there were fathers in the commercial who were featured without partners.

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