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Calvin Klein Apologizes for Queerbaiting After Same-Sex Robot Kiss

Calvin Klein Apologizes for Queerbaiting After Same-Sex Robot Kiss

Calvin Klein Apologizes for Queerbaiting After Same-Sex Robot Kiss

The ad featured Bella Hadid kissing a female robot.

rachelkiley

Calvin Klein has issued an apology following criticism of a recent ad campaign.

The ad in question featured Bella Hadid kissing a female-presenting robot, a choice some considered queerbaiting.

“We understand and acknowledge how featuring someone who identifies as heterosexual in a same-sex kiss could be perceived as queerbaiting,” the company posted on Twitter. “As a company with a longstanding tradition of advocating for LGBTQ+ rights, it was certainly not our intention to misrepresent the LGBTQ+ community.”

 

 

They also noted that the ad campaign has centered around promoting “freedom of expression for a wide range of identities,” and that the specific video in question intended to explore “blurred lines between reality and imagination.” Hence the robot.

'Queerbaiting' is a term that is mainly used to describe teasing the possibility of a same-sex relationship (generally in media or stories) without any intention of ever following through. Some well-known examples are Beca and Chloe in the Pitch Perfect franchise, Sherlock and Watson or Sherlock and Moriarty in the BBC’s Sherlock series, and like half of the characters on Riverdale.

That definition of the term doesn’t seem particularly applicable in a short commercial that actually does feature same-sex kissing, though some criticisms centered more around how CK could have cast LGBTQ models instead of a hetero and a robot, and how the concept of a straight girl making out with a hot female robot is very much a fantasy driven by the male gaze.

It is unclear as of yet whether similar moments will appear in future CK ads that are a part of the current #MYCALVINS campaign.

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Rachel Kiley

Rachel Kiley is presumably a writer and definitely not a terminator. She can usually be found crying over queerbaiting in the Pitch Perfect franchise or on Twitter, if not both.

Rachel Kiley is presumably a writer and definitely not a terminator. She can usually be found crying over queerbaiting in the Pitch Perfect franchise or on Twitter, if not both.