A few days before the Super Bowl, I showed you how the American Family Association’s One Million Moms–which, I must remind you, is hardly anything more than a single person named Monica Cole (i.e. “One Meddling Mom“)–was going after the broadcast of the big game because of an ad that features glimpses of drag performers enjoying Sabra hummus. At the time, OMM was making a major stink, calling on their anti-LGBTQ supporters to petition the NFL to drop the ads, coupled with outrageous claims that the benign hummus spot was somehow corrupting families and sexualizing children.
Of course OMM failed at its stated mission, as it always does. As soon as they issued their outcry, GLAAD immediately stepped into the non-troversy and informed OMM that not only was the hummus ad staying on, but that Super Bowl LIV would actually be an historic night for LGBTQ visibility, with a large handful of commercials featuring LGBTQ personalities and/or themes.
This is precisely what came to pass on game day. The ads aired. Kansas City (which is in Missouri, mister President) was declared the winner. Buffalo wings were consumed. American families stayed intact.
So what does OMM do? Well, they are now pretending the prior campaign never even existed, instead glomming on to a similar non-troversy involving the halftime show in general, and Shakira and Jennifer Lopez’s outfits in particular. They have made that cause the topline, major issue and removed the Sabra action completely:
There has been absolutely no followup about the drag queens enjoying smashed chickpeas, even though it was only a week ago they were telling us that the world would come to an end if Miz Cracker and Kim Chi we’re allowed to go about their hummus-eating ways. OMM made no mention of the fact that the NFL and/or Fox called their bluff and raised it by not only airing the Sabra ad, but also the others with LGBTQ content. OMM certainly doesn’t admit defeat in any way. They just move on, as if it never existed. They are now telling people that Shakira’s hips and J Lo’s impressive dancing is the real corrupting influence, with hummus-eating drag queens apparently absolved of their kid-corrupting powers.
In doing this quick switcheroo on its supporters, OMM once again proves just how hollow the organization really is. It’s one thing to walk around with your hair on fire, screaming about the LGBTQ people who dare to exist in your midst. If you do make that odd lifestyle choice, however, you can’t just pretend that it never happened when your campaign doesn’t go your way. If it truly was the major issue you said it was, then it should be a REALLY major issue now that the ad(s) have been allowed to air freely in front of the kiddies. Right? If you make such dire predictions, aren’t you obligated to see them out? Don’t you owe that to your followers?
That would be rather case if OMM (or any other anti-LGBTQ group, for that matter) operated in a consistent rather than deeply hypocritical way. If they were consistent in their convictions, then they would be doubling down now, calling for boycotts of FOX and the NFL and hummus and whatever other thing people enjoyed about Super Bowl Sunday. However, they are not consistent because their whole operation is a shell game. The knew these ads were really no big deal–they just didn’t want us to know that they knew it. Desperate for some sort of a “win” in the wake of their high profile failure in December, OMM was hoping they could bully the somewhat more conservative NFL into bending to their whims. They were just throwing this hummus campaign at the wall and hoping that it stuck.
It’s all an attention-seeking game. We of course see right through it, because we always have. But now, if even they can’t stand by their own stated convictions, one has to wonder why even their strongest supporters should believe a word they say.
Jeremy Hooper is a longtime researcher and strategist, with a particular focus on the anti-LGBTQ religious right. His work has been featured in press outlets across the globe, and has been used by numerous political campaigns. From 2004 to 2015 he ran the popular blog Good As You, and wrote a well-received book on his own LGBTQ rights journey. He lives in NYC with his husband and daughter.