According to the founder of Faces Of Choice, a pro-life organization that created a prospective ad for the Super Bowl featuring survivors of abortion, Fox, which is broadcasting the game, kept delaying her request to air the spot until they finally informed her that all the spots for commercials had been taken.
Lyric Gillett stated that she started negotiating with the network last July, as the Washington Times reported. A Fox spokesperson asserted that the network sold out its ad space long ago, saying, “Super Bowl LIV sold out at a record pace this year, and unfortunately we were unable to accommodate Faces of Choice and other advertisers.”
But Gillett countered that she had given the network storyboards and answered questions about her organization, only to have the sales division reply that the legal department would answer her by late November. She said, “Some individuals had apparently expressed that the sales division was not happy with the way the legal division was going in terms of not providing answers. So an executive flew up from New York and we were told Friday to expect an answer by Monday. Monday came along, we got no answer, and then found out that night that they were sold out.”
Gillett said that she asked the network to clear the ad just in case a spot opened up; she added that in mid-December she was informed an answer would come “very, very soon,” but none arrived. She stated, “It feels like the reason for that is they don’t want to, I guess in their minds, give a story that we were rejected. I guess that’s the reason behind it. Nothing else makes sense. But again, that’s unprofessional, and I don’t think that’s how they operate with other clients.”
Gillett said, “Every time we would meet a stipulation or request, it would morph into something different. I would send an email saying, ‘What else do you need to get some type of answer?’ Even if it’s a ‘no,’ we don’t want a ‘no,’ but at least we can have an answer. We never got that answer. So it’s just been a very frustrating experience.”
She added, “In an era where we’re trying to give survivors a voice, whether that is through the #MeToo movement or on any number of issues, for some reason we deem survivors of abortion worthy of being ignored into oblivion. That, to me, is both ironic but also just appalling.”
My Faith Votes has created a petition that states:
Choice is not merely a word. Choice is a person. For months, FOX TV and FOX Sports have been blocking Faces of Choice from airing an ad during Super Bowl Sunday telling the stories of abortion survivors. We have thousands of survivors of abortion in the United States, and their voices must not be silenced. Faces of Choice was told by Fox executives there weren’t any more slots available for a 30-second ad during Super Bowl Sunday, but we discovered that’s not true. There are ads spots still available.
Gillett concluded, “I would encourage people during the Super Bowl, if you’re willing, if you’re interested, to shut off the TV during the commercials and listen to their stories. Give them a voice.”
The Super Bowl is airing an ad from Sabra that features two drag queens, Kim Chi and Miz Cracker, from “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” Jason Levine, chief marketing officer for Sabra, said, “We’re bringing a diverse group of personalities to the table and demonstrating just how incredibly versatile, relevant and relatable hummus is today. We think we’ve got something for everyone,” reported Ad Week.
NBC News spoke to Bob Witeck, a marketing specialist who focuses on reaching LGBTQ audiences; he enthused that the drag queen ad was “revolutionary,” and chortled, “For queer audiences, it is an art form and an ‘outsiders’ language. Reaching the Super Bowl means taking our language into every home in the nation and millions around the world.”
Here’s the commercial from which the ad would be taken: