A Taiwan McDonald’s commercial featuring a young man coming out of the closet to his father in the fast food chain has gone viral and has been warmly received by netizens’ overall. However, it has been criticised by religious groups such as Taiwan Family, which issued a statement condemning McDonald’s for spreading “improper” ideas to children.

The video opens with a young man and his father sitting in silence at McDonald’s McCafe. The camera then pans up to a message the young man has written on a cup facing his father, which says “I like boys.” The older man stands up and leaves, but returns soon after to write on the cup as well and modify the message to become “I accept that you like boys.” The young man then tears up and the two smile at each other.

The video was uploaded on Friday and has received more than 770,000 views on Youtube. It also has been shared more than 9,000 times on Facebook, with most of the feedback being positive; according to Facebook reactions, 10,000 liked the post, 4,100 ‘loved’ it, with 83 ‘angry’ and 1,800 ‘saddened’ by it. One commented on Youtube saying, “The last couple of seconds made me cry”, and another said, “Support gay marriage!”

Brenda Kou, Head Of Marketing at McDonald’s Corporation, told Apple Daily that the commercial’s intention was to show the spirit of communication and dialogue, which was the basis of reaching any consensus. She also said that they wanted to denote that different voices can be accepted in society.

The message on the cup says, “I like boys”. Photo: YouTube screenshot.

Murphy Chou, Chief Creative Officer at Leo Burnett Taiwan – which produced the commercial – said that it was not a stance on LGBT issues; rather, it was a depiction of the struggles that come with being a parent who wants to support their children. He also said that McDonald’s in France also aired an LGBT themed commercial around 2010.

Anti-LGBT group Taiwan Family issued a statement on Saturday evening, saying that they were opposed to any public promotion of ideas that would encourage LGBT behaviour. It also said that McDonald’s was a place frequented by many children and called for parents to boycott McDonalds, saying,”I feel corrupted even using their washroom,” Ming Pao reported.

Karen is a journalist and writer covering politics and legal affairs in Hong Kong for HKFP. She has also written features on human rights, public space, regional legal developments, social and grassroots activism, and arts & culture. She is a BA and LLB graduate from the University of Hong Kong.