Close your eyes, Miss Richfield 1981 devotees. On the Philly Post today, reporter Victor Fiorillo has some stinging words for the new Greater Philadelphia Tourism & Marketing Corporation’s (GPTMC) commercial that stars the drag queen running around town taking selfies at popular Philly landmarks, calling it “cheap and dumb.” His reasons?
There is no mention of the fact that it’s the ten-year anniversary of our award-winning gay tourism campaign, which has become a model for other cities around the country. (Would it have hurt to highlight the Travel & Leisure honor?)
And there is no mention of the recent gay rights victories in the United States, unless you’re going to take the position that having a drag queen running up the “Rocky steps” is somehow a “look how far we’ve come” message, which would just be dumb.
Philadelphia has a vibrant, expansive gay scene and plenty of gay-friendly tourism and restaurant options. (Have you heard about the two lesbians who own an entire street?) But the commercial barely celebrates any of that. It paints a very narrow picture of the city, and if not for the iconic landmarks included, this could easily be a promotion for Pittsburgh or Milwaukee.
Instead of showcasing our awesome city and its gay friendliness, the commercial showcases Miss Richfield 1981. But hey, we can’t blame her for that. You stick a drag queen in front of a camera, and we all know what is going to be the center of attention.
Yikes! Do you agree with his assessment. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section firstname.lastname@example.org.