Tech giant pulls drag queen ad after backlash

Samsung apologizes for ‘offensive’ video featuring Muslim mother supporting LGBTQ son

South Korean electronics giant Samsung has pulled an advertisement that featured a real-life Singapore family, in which the hijab-wearing mother expressed her support for her drag-queen son by hugging him.

They were one of four families that appeared in the ad under the slogan “Listen to your Heart,” which was meant to promote Samsung’s new smart watch. The device has a heart-rate monitor and noise-canceling earbuds.

The ad triggered anger online, with some accusing Samsung of trying to promote LGBTQ ideology and being insensitive to the Islamic faith. According to Singapore’s 2020 census, 15.6% of the country’s population identify as Muslim.

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Samsung published a statement online on Wednesday, admitting that the production may be perceived as “insensitive and offensive,” adding that they had removed the video from all public platforms.

© Vyla Virus/Instagram, Samsung

The drag queen in the video is known as Vyla Virus and has been described online as one of Singapore’s most prolific drag performers. He has since appeared on his Instagram platform to say the footage was all about a mother’s love and nothing more.

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