Pro-life advocates are infuriated after Fox repeatedly ignored requests for ad space during the 2020 Super Bowl from pro-life group Faces of Choice after giving the group the “runaround,” while approving a commercial that will feature drag queens and LGBTQ activists. Fox is now claiming it is out of ad space, but Faces of Choice contends the network deliberately delayed approving its application for airtime so that they would run out of air space before having to issue a response to the request.
The commercial in question features more than a dozen abortion survivors in varying stages of their lives from all around the world, who ask, “Can you look me in the eye and say I should have been aborted?” The advertisement’s youngest abortion survivor is seven-year-old Zechariah Hagan, one of the first abortion pill reversal (APR, a treatment to reverse the effects of an initial dose of an abortion drug) success stories.
Life News reports Faces of Choice, which was incorporated in September, premiered its powerful new ad at the March for Life last week and had hoped to air a shortened version of the advertisement during this year’s Super Bowl.
Lyric Gillett, the 28-year-old founder of Faces of Choice and producer of the ad, said she wrote the script for her commercial three years ago, and had been raising money through sponsors to come up with the $5 million needed for a 30-second Super Bowl slot.
“Every great human rights movement in history has been anchored in the stories and the faces of its victims. That’s what we aim to do; we simply want to tell their forgotten stories and there’s no larger mega-phone than the Super Bowl,” she said.
Faces of Choice contends the advertisement shines light on the myth of “choice.”
“Abortion advocates need to look these survivors in the eye and come to terms with the fact that they are human, that their lives matter, and that choice is more than a word: it’s a person,” Gillett said.
Unfortunately, despite repeated requests from Faces of Choice for Super Bowl ad space over the last six months, Fox is now claiming they ran out of ad space.
But Gillett calls foul. She states Faces of Choice provided all the necessary documentation to the network and answered all of its legal questions months ago, and was told they would have a response from the legal department by October, then, when no response was received, late November. Yet no response was provided.
Gillett told the Washington Times that her organization reached out to Fox again to check on the status of the request, and was told they would have an answer with a few days. In mid-December, following yet another request, Fox told Faces of Choice to expect an answer “very, very soon.” Again, no answer was provided.
Gillett believes Fox was simply running out the clock so it didn’t have to outright reject the ad content.
“We were one of the very first people to submit anything to them. We met every single stipulation that they asked for and every time we met the line they moved the line further to request something else,” Gillett told LifeSite.
“I think it’s very clever what they’re doing. If they directly said ‘no’ then we could say ‘this is asinine, look at the suitable ad that Fox rejected’, but they haven’t directly said ‘no,’ they’ve ignored us, wasted our time, refused to give an answer and refused to either give us clearance or simply say ‘no,’” Gillett said.
Gillett adds Fox seemed to deliberately make her group jump through hoops. At one point, Fox’s legal department asked for the identities of everyone who donated towards or sponsored the ad. And despite such an “untenable request,” Faces of Choice provided the requested information. That still did not prompt a response from the network.
She contends Fox’s treatment of her application is exemplary of the concerted effort to ignore the reality of abortion.
Abortion survivors, she says, “have been ignored their whole lives” and are now “being ignored again.”
Meanwhile, the 2020 Super Bowl will air a commercial from Sabra hummus, which features drag queens Kim Chi and Miz Cracker from “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” a significant accomplishment for the LGBTQ community, marketing strategist Bob Witeck observes, as it could reach approximately 100 million viewers.
“For queer audiences, it is an art form and an ‘outsiders’ language,” Witek said of drag. “Reaching the Super Bowl means taking our language into every home in the nation and millions around the world.”
The Washington Times notes the Super Bowl is no stranger to controversy:
Last year, Gillette sent a #MeToo message with its “toxic masculinity” ad. In 2017, Budweiser and 84 Lumber included pro-immigration themes in their spots. Other companies have included shout-outs for gay and transgender rights.
This year’s contest is scheduled to include a Sabra hummus ad featuring a pair of drag queens, as well as two overtly political spots — one for Mr. Trump and the other for Mr. Bloomberg. Each presidential campaign purchased a 60-second spot at a cost of $10 million.
This will be the first Super Bowl since 1989 that candidates have purchased air time, the Times notes, and may be the first time in history in which dueling spots run nationally.
Yet, it seems there are some controversies Fox hopes to avoid. The last time the Super Bowl aired a pro-life message was in 2010 when Focus on the Family aired a commercial featuring quarterback Tim Tebow, whose mother rejected a doctor’s advice to obtain an abortion. According to the Times, that commercial received “pushback from pro-choice groups.”
Gillett was advised by a media buyer that additional Super Bowl slots always become available at a later date. She is hopeful that Fox can still authorize her request so her advertisement would be eligible to be aired if any of those slots become available.
Faces of Choice has launched a campaign urging its supporters to contact officials at Fox Corp.
The group has also circulated a petition for supporters to sign.
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