Earlier this month, there was a shitstorm swirling around Mr. Sub's Gay Dad Dinner ad. I got an email from the ad agency, BOS Toronto, asking me to remove the YouTube video of the ad I embedded in my original entry about the ad.
Shortly after I wrote about this, I heard from the mother of one of the children at the table in the ad. We've been corresponding, and she's had some interesting inside information she wasn't willing to let me share. Until now.
Before we delve into the details, here's the ad in question.
I still hate that ad... but I digress. The quoted content below belongs to my source, who I will not name, as per her request. She has fully agreed to let me share this. She feels she has nowhere else to turn.
Here is the deal with this ad (and I know your feelings on the ad itself). The CAW obviously took exception to it. If you have been following the progresson of this thing you know it's all over the gay bloggers sites now and most of them are all saying it's pretty tame and aren't taking alot of exception to it.
Mr. Sub is denying culpability. BOS has been fired, and basically none of the actors involved in this ad have or will be paid for any usage (no residuals, no internet usage etc). BOS is denying it leaked it to the web even though it was on their website and was included in all of the press releases when the series of ads went live. They feel because they have put forth "an effort" to have any traces of it removed from the web that these kids (and adults) don't deserve any payment.
I have been on the phone with ACTRA for the last two weeks advocating on behalf of my son (and the other actors as a result) for some kind of compensation for usage. Based on a conversation I had earlier today I have been told it will be nearly impossible to see any payments coming through for the reasons outlined above.
Here is the full story now. There is another version of this ad. The ad is equally lame but instead of announcing he is gay, he announces he is selling the kids off as scientific experiments. They (both BOS and Mr. Sub) knew full well the Gay ad would raise eyebrows and filmed the other as a backup. (BTW...the actors were only paid for filming of one spot, not two, so they have been screwed twice now). I believe they had every intention of airing the gay ad. It was leaked to the web at the same time as the other ads to "test the waters" so to speak before going live on the tele. I believe they had every intention of it going viral, which it did with great success. Due to the controversy and the complaints from the CAW everyone wants to step very far away form it and try to bury the whole thing. In the process these kids are getting screwed. Note that the residuals for internet usage are miniscule compared to television residuals so we are in reality only talking a couple hundred dollars per actor. I am angry at all of the shenanigans and the principle behind it all.
They very easily could have aired the second version filmed and avoided all of it. They wanted the controversy, they wanted the exposure (there is no such thing as bad exposure right?), and now that it has seemingly backfired on them from many different levels, they all want to deny culpability. BOS has been made a scapegoat, but is still responsible for not paying the actors, Mr. Sub looks like they have no backbone, and are getting called wimps by even gay bloggers, and the whole thing is a giant cluster$#$%.
Your blog has a lot of readers and I'd love to get the word out on this one. If it had never been released we would have cut our son's losses and said... sometimes that happens (been there done that), but it is out there and these kids deserve what is due to them. My own son does this for two reasons, he loves it, and it is putting away money for University for himself. I know in the end we are only talking a couple hundred dollars but Mr. Sub has basically gotten worldwide exposure at the actor's expense.
Given the seemingly lack of power of ACTRA to be able to resolve this whole situation I'm actually thinking of writing to the CAW chapter that spearheaded this whole thing, union to union...LOL (even though they hate the fact that it was made to begin with).
I would like it mentioned that we vetted this ad past members of the gay community before agreeing to film it. (I'm betting I'm not going to have too many friends over at ACTRA when this is all said and done...rocking the boat and all).
Unpaid actors, denial of accountability by a now fired advertising agency, a claim of complete (and impossible) ignorance by Mr. Sub, the filming of a second non-gay ad, and an actor's union deeming the gay dad version homophobic.
A true clusterfuck.