NEW YORK: Dating platform OkCupid is taking “an even bigger stand on inclusion” in response to viral videos of a woman tearing down its ads on a New York City subway train, said Melissa Hobley, the company’s CMO, on Monday.
In videos posted to Twitter, an unidentified woman rips down OkCupid ads from the brand’s Every Single Person campaign, which targets groups such as bears, bookworms, cuddlers, feminists, heavy petters, insomniacs, introverts, monogamists, non-monogamists, nonbinaries, pansexuals, romantics, submissive, tokers, tree-huggers, vaxxers and vegetarians.
One ad, aimed at “every single vaxxer” shows a couple kissing as their tongues literally become one.
“All of this is gross. For kids to be looking at this, is that OK?” the woman says in the videos.
Hobley said that the woman in the video made homophobic comments, accusing OkCupid of trying to "normalize" LGBTQ+.
“Of course we are,” responded Hobley.
She added that the LGBTQ+ community has been supportive since the videos were posted, notably Star Trek icon George Takei.
"It reminded us that inclusion is more important than ever," said Hobley. "We can handle someone ripping down some ads. What's not OK [is] to make the kind of statements she made and to destroy public property."
In response to the backlash, OkCupid wants consumers to know that it celebrates love for every single person, regardless of identity, ethnicity, race, orientation or gender.
"Many have reached out to us with heartfelt reactions to our Every Single Person campaign, sharing the joy of seeing their true selves represented in advertising," the company said in a statement. "A much smaller few have had shockingly vitriolic reactions to it; but these reactions only serve to make it even more clear that we must continue to champion people who are historically underrepresented. Whether you're a non-binary person, an environmentalist, a vaccine advocate or all of the above, you deserve to find what you're looking for on OkCupid."