A post on Volkswagen’s social media about the Polo, with the image of a gay couple, has been the target of homophobic attacks. Several profiles have shared the post attacking the participants of the advertising piece and the automaker.
On the company’s Facebook there were more than 21 thousand comments, with numerous attacks on advertising and even on the models, who are a couple in real life.
The advertisement was initially published on May 6th, with the following caption: “Do you know what has evolved along with you? The Polo. What was already good got even better, with much more security and technology. You access your vehicle without the use of keys, takes advantage of the 6-speed automatic transmission and connects with everything via VW Play”.
The presence of two men embracing in the photo was enough for groups to start a campaign against the car and the brand. The attacks made the term “Polo” one of the most talked about topics on Twitter in recent days, with derogatory montages that will not be republished by this report.
The homophobic attacks follow similar lines, trying to belittle the car for being empathetic to the LGBTQIA+ community, and calling for “more unbiased marketing”. UOL Cars contacted Volkswagen, which positioned itself through a note.
“Difference enriches, respect unites. Volkswagen do Brasil celebrates sexual and gender identity diversity. Promoting Diversity & Inclusion is one of the brand’s strategic pillars. outside the company, with direct or indirect business partners. Volkswagen launched a booklet on Diversity & Inclusion for its entire supply chain and dealership network in Brazil and, continuously, develops debates with its employees, in all hierarchical spheres.”
The German automaker continues: “We believe that each person, of different races, ethnicities, gender, sexual orientation and age/generation, has unique experiences, which together contribute to strengthen not only the company’s culture, but also the environment in which we live. It is our responsibility to continue learning how we can contribute to the fight against any form of prejudice, as we consider it essential to reconcile differences for the construction of a fair society for all. Regarding interaction with users, offensive and disrespectful comments are duly erased from our pages”.
It is worth mentioning that, in 2019, the Federal Superior Court (STF) ruled that homophobic and transphobic statements can be framed in the crime of racism, whose penalty is from one to three years, but can reach five in more serious cases.
It is not the first time
The post is part of a series of publications on diversity, which began in June 2021. They are always accompanied by homophobic attacks.
Murillo and Diego Xavier, one of the LGBTQIA+ couples that appear in the photos that VW has published, talked to UOL Cars at the beginning of the campaign. “When we see the comments, we get a bad feeling, a desire to respond, to want to fight back, but then we see that this is an unnecessary waste of energy”, says Murillo.
He says a lot of that maturity in choosing whether and when to respond comes from the fact that her husband, Diego, brought him closer to the LGBTQIA+ movement and militancy when they first met. “People are spreading hate and malice, especially on the internet, where they think anything can, but being closer to militancy has shed light on how to deal with these acts,” he adds.