UK Supermarket Apologizes For Selling ’Gay Best Friend’ Doll
Officials from the British and multinational supermarket chain Tesco are apologizing for selling an inflatable "gay best friend" doll, the U.K. newspaper the Mirror reports.
The figure was advertised on the retailer’s website with the description, "g*y best friends are in this season." It also said the doll was an "amusing gift" for children ages three to four.
"If Sex in the City and Will & Grace taught us anything, it’s that g*y best friends are in this season," the ad read, according to the Mirror. "We’ve had the manbag, we’ve had leg warmers and iPhone fever, now it’s time for the new craze. Although not much can be said for his own attire, your Inflatable g*y Best Friend is ready to give you fashion advice, tell you if your bum looks big and b**ch about everyone who doesn’t wear Jimmy Choo’s."
The doll, however, has been removed after Tesco officials called the item "offensive."
"This product was uploaded to the website by a third party seller but was removed from sale immediately because we found it offensive," a Tesco spokesman told Sky News. "The webpage should have been removed at that time, and we are looking into why it is still visible two months later. "We have very clear guidelines for third party sellers who list items on our website, and are very sorry that on this occasion they weren’t followed."
The Huffington Post reported that a number of people took issue with Tesco censoring the word "gay," using an asterisk instead of the letter "a."
"Can you guys explain this? 1: why is the word ’gay’ censored and 2: why did this product ever materialise?" someone wrote on Twitter. "Weirdest thing about this very weird thing is that @Tesco felt the need to blank out part of the word gay," another wrote.
Stonewall, an LGBT charity group in the U.K., told HuffPost UK: "This is like trying to sell ice to Eskimos. We can’t imagine why any woman would choose to buy an inflatable gay best friend when there are two million of the real thing already available in modern Britain and most of them are much better looking than Tesco’s pale imitation."
Although Tesco has removed the "g*y best friend" figure, Amazon’s U.K. site has it available for purchase, with a three out of five star rating.
"I’ve blown it up and sure enough, he is a patient listener, BUT he fails at dispensing advice, shopping and dancing. I have repeated asked if my bum looks big to no avail," one user wrote, giving it one out of five stars.