NEWS ANALYSIS: FRANK MYERS AUTO MAXX TAKES JAB AT CAITLYN JENNER
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“After all, change e-iss good,” says a wig-wearing, USA jersey sporting Tracy Myers in a sarcastic, albeit sassy voice in the latest commercial to come from the Winston-Salem automobile salesman. “Change your lifestyle by trading that old car you hate for a nicer, newer car you love,” he goes on.
If you’ve seen the commercial, which seems to only be running in the late night hours, then you may have also noticed that there is a small flashing hashtag in the upper left corner. That hashtag, that singular bit of text that has the number sign in front of it so that social media and Internet people can follow the story, simply says “#Not- BruceJenner.”
That hashtag flashes on the screen five times before disappearing, but that was five times too many for George Dukes, a chairman of the board for North Star LGBT Community Center based out of Winston-Salem.
Dukes’ first inclination was to take to social media to voice his concerns with the commercial, as well as reaching out to Tracy Myers himself for an explanation. Fox8 followed the story early last week, but in typical “we call ourselves a news station but really we just rip Facebook quotes without permission and do not bother to actually reach out to the people who posted them” fashion, Fox8 didn’t really do anything other than shedding a little more publicity on a man whose perceived goal was to achieve just that. Myers also invited Dukes to the dealership to discuss the commercial, but ended up cancelling the meeting at the last minute and pushed it to this week.
Dukes compared the commercial and the parody used to the actors of old “running around in black face.” Myers countered that he has been doing bits like this for years – dressing up like a woman and poking fun at himself – but iterated that he did give a nod to support by saying “Change is Good.”
Hmm. Something just doesn’t seem right here.
Oh! It’s that Tracy Myers has no place whatsoever to mock, parody, or otherwise ridicule anyone or anything just to sell cars, especially someone like Caitlyn Jenner whose transformation has shed groundbreaking light on the LGBT community and the struggles they face every single day with family members, friends and the all seeing public eye.
If all you do is read hardcopy newspapers, which we here at YES! Weekly completely support, then you may have seen a blip on a page somewhere about Bruce Jenner, the former Olympianturned-reality show celebrity (mostly thanks to being the stepfather of Kim Kardashian,) coming out as a femaleidentified Caitlyn Jenner. This transformation has been documented and gossiped about for a long time after hints were dropped in various episodes of “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” (the worst show on television, ever) as well as tabloids blasting Jenner ad nauseam with teasing headlines.
Now there are two things at play here: There is Tracy Myers taking a subject that the LGBT community takes very seriously and mocking it so that he can sell cars, and there is the LGBT community being sensitive to a topic that has and will continue to undoubtedly receive criticism and parodies because it is now in the media and social spotlight.
They say that any publicity is better than no publicity, so perhaps Myers accomplished two things in one commercial. On the one hand, he is offending a group of humans that have fought tirelessly to beat stereotypes and discrimination, and he is getting a lot of publicity for his car dealership. On the other hand, it does maintain the conversation around acceptance of something that should otherwise be a no-brainer in modern society.
It’s 2015. People can be who people want to be. People should be able to marry whomever they want.
So does everyone win here? This is not an attack on Tracy Myers because he made a video in poor taste. The man donates his time, money and efforts to good causes year-round. Just prior to catching flack for this commercial, Frank Myers Auto Maxx held its annual community picnic, which was free for anyone and everyone. But doing a lot of good doesn’t mean you can get by with a little bad every now and then and expect it to go unnoticed.
And you certainly can’t ever impose on someone to “lighten up” on a topic that they hold so dear to their heart, their being, which is what much of the supporters for Tracy Myers are saying, referring to people as overly sensitive and whatnot.
The commercial was made in poor taste. The honorable thing to do would be to pull the commercial from television rotation, remove the YouTube embed from the website, and apologize.
Simply stating that you support people of all walks of life while simultaneously mocking the same demographic is very similar to offering a deflated life raft to someone drowning.
Sure you threw the rope, but we all know you don’t mean to help.
Tracy, if you’re going to perpetuate the transphobic agenda that has plagued this country, and the world, for so many years, you should probably act like a stereotypical male and take responsibility for your actions. !