Are You Offended By This Hilton Ad With 2 Men In The Same Bed?

In the June 2016 issue of Travel + Leisure magazine, Hilton advertised for their hotel chain with a photo of two men in the same bed together.

hilton-ad

As a result of this advertisement, the American Family Association recently launched a petition against Hilton. They published a statement on their website criticizing the ad:

“Travel and Leisure isn’t a gay-specific magazine sent directly to homosexual’s homes. It’s a widely distributed mainstream publication that can be found in many public places such as doctors’ or auto repair waiting rooms. If Hilton had advertised two men playing tennis, cards, or having lunch, that would have been reasonable. However, Hilton chose to make a cultural and social statement by purposely marketing the promotion of homosexuality to a large segment of the population who finds the idea of two men sleeping together unnatural and offensive.”

What are your thoughts about this advertisement? #PMTTPSupportive

Comments

  1. I have nothing against coming across same sex couples on the streets, etc., but depicting them in bed in a flirtatious manner is a little too in your face for me. I’d probably feel this way even if it was a heterosexual couple in a bed; there’s too much advertising in sex today.

  2. Really?!?!? It’s 2016 let’s get over the drama. The Photo isn’t even that gay. Maybe they are two straight truckers who are listening to the new Rodney carrington Album but only have one pair of headphones and don’t want to disturb the other guests. isn’t that how broke back mountain started … oh wait!
    anyway Its not a big deal, It’s two men (fully clothed i might add) in a bed. Not a scene from Kink.com

    • I’m a straight man and never ever hold another guy’s hand in the way depicted here. That’s not something 2016 will simply misinterpret.

  3. I don’t care what people do in the bedroom–I just have no interest in seeing it. So yes, I’m offended.

    • It’s not homophobia, I don’t’ have an irrational fear of men or gays (which is what a phobia is). I just don’t approve of the life. No need to force it on those who dislike it. I’ll be staying at other hotels because of this. Sorry that I have some morals…..

      • And to think, all those people who’ve had to be offended with those heterosexual relationships e.g. The kisses, hugging, photos of opposite sex couples in the same bed! Flip it the other way and your comment is absurd. Get out more.

  4. No I am not offended. It’s 2016 I don’t care who’s in who’s bed and neither should anyone else. What people do behind closed hotel doors is not my business.

  5. This is the same group that has previously not been offended by “risqué” (by their standards) heterosexual depictions in Hilton ads. This is not a value stand – they are just being hypocritical, closed-minded, and cruel.

  6. To Chris W and M, y’all need to get out more and experience the world outside of your small minded living rooms. Grow up. It’s an ad. Not two men bonking in your living room 🙂

  7. The AFA need a new hobby…….and find some REAL issues to petition…I could list a number of more important ones than a magazine ad. Perhaps they should realize and capitalize on the Pink Dollar….perhaps they don’t realize that Executives in Publicity, Events, Entertainment, Travel (and leisure) are notably and predominantly Gay. Perhaps they should take a stand and not participate or purchase anything from these heathens (and note….I’m gay…and I’m a business owner, in the travel industry)

    They would find themselves with a very narrow scope of options…..GHASP, Two men in a BED! Surely NOT.

    Get over it AFA.

    • Oh, I should also add – that Hilton have been one of the long standing supporters of equality and gay rights – they are trained to not question 2 men checking in to a room with 1 king Bed…..it’s called catering to a minority people…..if you’re in an interracial hetro relationship…please understand how it would feel to be questioned at every walk of life that “there must be a mistake”

      The only mistake is theirs…..not ours……Let’s move forward people

  8. No. I was going to say something snarky about how Lucy and Ricky would sleep (due to Television rules and regulations back in the 1950s/ 60s) in separate beds. We no longer can stomach smoking… times change… at times for the better.

  9. I am a Hilton Honors member but I have never seen this ad! I don’t agree with showing 2 men in bed together holding hands because it is very suggestive of a homosexual relationship. I am a Christian woman and I do not agree with sexual behavior between 2 men or 2 women, because God said it is wrong and I trust what God’s Word says!!! I have been married to my husband(who is a man-I am a woman) for 50 years and I am sure this was part of God’s plan! The body of the man is suited for the body of the woman, not man for man and woman for woman! God’s plan for procreation(making babies) can only naturally happen with a man and a woman!
    Thank you for asking for my comment.

  10. Who are all the insane people on this thread? If you think “homosexuality is immoral” in 2016, you are part of a tiny, benighted minority, and nobody cares what you think.

  11. For all those whose comments are strongly pro-gay and suggest others should “just get over it” I suggest you take a moment to re-read some of those comments. Many of the “yes, I’m offended” responses aren’t against homosexuality but rather against having it flaunted in their face. Their response would be the same if it were two heterosexuals – Hilton doesn’t need to show people in bed together to make their point. If they are simply focusing on the LGBT community then mainstream magazines may not be the best for them (at least not yet). Just like any group, those of you that are “extreme” are often slowing the progress of the rest of your minority group.

    Rose – while acceptance of the LGBT community continues to grow as times change, if you honestly think that only a tiny minority believe homosexuality is immoral then you are the insane one.

    • Part of your comment is factually untrue. Hilton regularly depicts heterosexuals in beds together or reclining in a couple posture. The people you claim would be equally offended have, in fact, not been previously – and are only now showing outrage. The offense for them is specific to two men. Let’s be clear: this is not a “seamless moral value” argument but one that is specific against GLBT depictions. It’s textbook homophobia.

      “Flaunted in their face” always seems a bit rich to me. I often hear this comment from a race/class/gender “majority” group that demands a sensitivity and return to their normalcy while refusing empathy towards “the others.”

      Finally, you ultimately vote with your wallet. But I would be clear that Hilton has already crunched those numbers – as have a growing list of major brands. Hilton is smart enough to understand a significant market share that it can take from Starwood. It will take tiny hit from those who won’t go Hilton anymore because of an LGBT ad.

      Oh, and if you wanted to be really offended? Hilton hosted Mr. International Leather for years. As has Hyatt. And Marriott. Along with sponsoring a number of major LGBT events. So…your money goes to hotels that spend money on LGBT. And your choices of non-pro-LGBT hotel chains is incredibly thin.

    • ur so right! Regardless of acceptance nowaday. It still is what it is and not everybody have to accept it!Like people say keep it behinds close door not on the front page of a magazine! And plus I stay at Hilton as a family with kids.Yes it’s 2016 but how long has mankind been around? This is just too ughhh… no words for it.

    • Dear Bob-

      To your last point: Nobody here has claimed that only a tiny minority believe homosexuality is immoral. In fact, many people supporting equality for the LGBT community feel there is much need to open a dialogue with this very group you refer to. In my humble opinion, what is being reported through media significantly over-pronounces the extreme sides of ANY issue (I mean, are we surprised?) It is quite a disservice to humanity because it really disengages many possible, ruins what could have been productive discussions about important things like this by encouraging people snap to the extreme points of view. Anyway, I digress.

      The point I’m hoping I am clarifying here is that the discussion about what is an acceptable way of showing LGBT support as a corporation is not productive. Should the LGBT people, who believe their existence and identity are not a matter of choice but results of natural development, be offended because they see a happy couple seen in bed at a luxury romantic getaway hotel? What is the right way of showing support for straightness/heterosexuality as a corporation?

      “Hilton doesn’t need to show people in bed together to make their point. If they are simply focusing on the LGBT community then mainstream magazines may not be the best for them (at least not yet). Just like any group, those of you that are “extreme” are often slowing the progress of the rest of your minority group.”

      This is self-contradictory. Hilton, indeed, DOES need to show people in bed together to make their point. But the POINT isn’t “Sweet! We believe in homosexuality we think it’s totally natural and super awesome”. The point they likely want to get across would be “If you are gay, you can feel comfortable at staying at our hotels. JUST LIKE ANYONE ELSE.”

      This is really not about going after straight people who believe homosexuality is a sin and hilton is over-extending itself to make a point they don’t need to make. This is about Hilton, a for-profit corporation, better understanding its customers and realizing some of its existing and (possibly new) customers happen to be…. LGBT. Therefore they want to say they are welcomed there. Just like they do the same for… straight couples.

      BTW, there are only a handful of above mentioned “LGBT magazines” with enough circulation to make the ad space worthy of investment. On the other hand, Hilton has access to 999999999 magazine companies that “serve the straights.”

    • Mmm, no. According to Gallup, homosexuality is viewed as immoral by about the same percentage as view gambling and sex out of wedlock as immoral. In other words, Victorian holdouts.

  12. Yes it’s offensive to me and makes me think much less of Hilton. I will stay there less after seeing this ad.

  13. No, not at all.

    Rather, I’d be much more offended if they would have shown what really happens in hotels like a photo of a cheating husband with a hooker. Or a business woman and random guy “hooking up” on those long business trips.

    Just sayin’…..

    Nothing to get excited about here.

  14. May I remind all the people saying they are Christian, Muslim, Jewish, when I walk down the street and see a church or mosque do I complain it’s in my face? NO. Religion does NOT trump human rights.

  15. No, I don’t find it offensive at all, in fact at the end of the day it’s very smart marketing, even if it turn of some heterosexual readers and lodgers. As a long time reader of T&L magazine, and seeing straight couple wearing far less, it actually seems silly to split hairs over the fact they both happen to be males. Getting back to the smart marketing, on both T&L and Hilton’s part, I’m sure it won’t surprise anyone to know that LGBT community travels far more, and takes more luxury trips, than their heterosexual counterparts.

    Among same-sex couples with both partners in the labor force, median household income is significantly higher ($94,000) than among heterosexual couples ($86,000) which is 80% above the average U.S. household income ($46,326). That’s likely due to a number of factors, but education is likely one of them due to the fact that around 46% of people in same-sex couples have college degrees, compared to under one-third of people in heterosexual couples. That higher level of education also likely contributes to higher incomes for same-sex households.

    Thus….Higher Income = More Travel
    83% of U.S. lesbian and gay men have a current passport, compared to 34% of all adult US citizens. 85% of lesbians and gay men are more likely to purchase products and services from companies that advertise to the LGBT community (good choice here Hilton, you know who to market to).

    Simply put, it doesn’t offend me, and it if the few folks on this thread that are offended by the article, and it’s is very few from the current count (at 11:31pm EST on a Thursday night), choose not to stay at Hilton and/or subscribe to T&L as a result of the ad it will hurt their bottom line since gay men and lesbians travel more widely than their heterosexual counterparts, both domestically and internationally, and those with higher incomes travel even more frequently, especially for leisure purposes.

      • Would you say that about child marriage (15-17 years old) and underage dating?

        So its OK to be intolerant and judgmental and hateful if someone disagrees with your opinion? Seems like that’s a fight that was fought long ago, strange how old become new and the old christian bigot has been replaced by the secular humanist/pro gay bigot.

        It used to be that we measured a persons argument by their logic behind it, seems like slogans win the day now – freedom, love wins, equality. I dare you to investigate your claims more deeply on an open forum.

        • You cannot equate what two consenting adults do together with anything involving a child — I think all persons would agree (straight or gay) that your suggestions of child marriage or underage dating are wrong. As such, you really have no point.

        • – It used to be that we measured a persons argument by their logic behind it

          So where’s the logic in all these homophobic responses? I only see small-minded “I’m offended” responses.

  16. Homosexuality is part of everyday life so this is no more offensive than showing two heterosexuals in be together jesting. If the world was a more tolerant place perhaps we wouldn’t be witnessing as much violence and madness as we have the last few weeks!

  17. I dont want to see anyone in bed, hetro or homo. A little sex used to sell, but the advertising industry has latched on to it like the only workable theme. This is the best Hilton has?

  18. NO! Not offended and the fact of the matter is that Hilton is being smart in that they know who actually reads T&L….the demographic targeted by the ad. There are groups and people that can find anything offensive and they just need to look away or get over it.

  19. Um, not offended but I guess I don’t quite get it from a marketing perspective. I don’t think Hilton needs to specifically market its hotels as “gay friendly” or whatever message they are trying to get across. It’s a chain with hotels with rooms and beds in which guests can do whatever they want (though probably not gay friendly in some countries and properties in spite of the ad.) I guess as a heterosexual I’m a bit turned off by the ad but maybe homosexuals are turned off by all the ads of men and women in suggestive positions. Anyway it’s kind of silly. I’m Jewish but I don’t think I would be more likely to stay at a Hilton if I see two dudes with yarmulkes on chowing down on a kosher meal in a Hilton room. And I guess the whole “stop clicking around” ad campaign is a play on “stop sleeping around” or “stop f—king around” so whoever does the advertising thought it would be an amusing message (or not) for the gay community too. Whatevs. Who cares. Love is love.

  20. To everyone quoting scripture – I can also point to where it calls eating shellfish and pork an abomination, promotes owning slaves, and forbids polyester. Picking and choosing gets us nowhere. Wasn’t Jesus all about loving one another and leaving judgment for non-earthly beings, anyways?

    Regardless, the point that is most important is the normalisation it presents. The same arguments being used in 2016 (religion, “science”) were used against interracial marriage and they won’t hold up, but something has to be done. Everything like this, Air Canada’s new safety video, etc are working in that direction. Racism and homophobia will always exist, unfortunately, but eliminating/decreasing it wherever and whenever possible is a step in the right direction.

    • Thomas, what would you say about people promoting underage sex (say with 15-17 year olds) and underage pornography. Would you call it wrong or would you let them do whatever they want behind closed doors? Would you let them aggressively promote their lifestyle choices on popular magazines?

      If you would call it wrong, then what is your reason? Is it because the majority thinks its wrong? Because it’s currently illegal? What about the “rights ” of the minority? Don’t they have the “right” to find fulfillment with underage girls or boys and to express that right in making and distributing pornography?

      Also if you want to argue from the bible, then you should know that old testament dietary requirements along with wearing clothes of mixed material are either expressly overturned in the new testament or not mentioned. Also slavery in the new testament was not race based as in american slavery and the bible never promoted slavery, though it did condone non race based, economically based slavery to a certain extent.

      Homosexuality along with premarital and extramarital sex are universally condemned in both the new and old testament. The new testament especially has a lot to say about sexual immortality, which is why Christians talk about and fight against these things.

      Society may think Ashley Madison and adultery is more and more acceptable, but the bible never will.

      • Again, factually false. The arguments outlined ignore critical points on ethical and theological frameworks. And, while this isn’t a graduate course on theology, it’s critical to be accurate in this discussion.

        1. Nobody is condoning underage sex in this conversation. But then, you already knew this as you wrote it. You also know that ethical sex requires mutual consent between mature individuals who are able to understand the gravity of their decision. We, as a society – and we, as Christians, have determined underage or adult-underage sex fails to meet this basic criteria. You are collapsing an ethical framework here to meet your need.

        2. You are claiming that the Canonical scriptures are consistent, straightforward, and clear. You are also claiming that they are explicit in laying out a seamless ethical framework that is closed to any interpretation. My guess here is that you are, again, intentionally ignoring Biblical Scholarship and the majority of theologians who assert the complete opposite. Modern Christianity has created an interesting “Canon within a Canon” – one that does not match up with other centuries and periods of Judeo-Christian thought and culture. It often ignores critical points of contention and hides Biblical images of Jesus that call it into (healthy!) question. Good for rhetoric – bad for ethical discussions.

        3. Hebrew and Christian Scriptures claim slavery as a part of the varied communities’ fabrics. They fall silent in condemning practices. You are correct that the two practices – Israelite and U.S. – were different. However, the point made previously is valid – the silence on slavery is a critical problem with any “seamless ethical fabric” one claims that the Bible provides. Such an ethic (which does not truly exist) fails to point out – well – what we believe and value as ethical. The nature of violence, sexual assault, and women’s authority are included with slavery as key points of theological contention. It demonstrates serious problems with contemporary “Canon within a Canon” assumptions and attempt to create “seamless fabrics of ethics” from Scriptures that just do not exist.

        4. You point about “homosexual…premarital and extramarital sex” as being “universally condemned” in the Scriptures is also factually untrue. It appears that you are reading a portion of the Scriptures – a “Canon within the Canon” – and ignoring specific Jewish sexual practices between those betrothed-but-not-married, the evolving communities’ beliefs on extramarital sex (specifically in regards to Jewish men and non-Jewish women), the non-focus on virginity, etc. You are also taking an English-centric, narrow, modern re-interpretation of specific lines and phrases in regards to homosexuality. You are rejecting and ignoring theological scholarship and consensus here. You did not say this – but it is as if you are still holding on to the disproven false interpretation that Sodom was about homosexuality.

        Contemporary theological scholarship is not with you on your points. Nor is Hilton, clearly.

        • Ben,

          1.) Yes I know that no one was talking about underage sex, I was using it as an example to draw out Thomas’ (and people with Thomas’ views) presuppositions, not collapsing an ethical framework. As you said, our current society has agreed that ethical sex is mutual and consensual between adults. But who says our current understanding of sex is correct? Is it because the majority says it’s so or because it is against the law? If this is the criteria, then how can a person stand up against popular sentiment or what they consider to be an unethical law.

          Also what constitutes an adult who understands their actions? Are all 17 year olds incapable or making grave decisions? Are all 18 year olds capable of this? The truth is that 18 is an arbitrary number with no concrete scientific backing because each individual matures at a different rate.

          I was trying to expose the fallacy of this kind of logic. Unless a person’s thoughts and opinions are rooted in something higher than a majority in society or law, then there is no foundation to make any argument (i.e. how can Westerners condemn certain practices in other countries. On what basis do Westerners do this and what universal ethics do they claim?). For Christians, it’s the revealed will of God, the Bible.

          2.) I am not claiming that scripture is clear and easily interpreted. I am claiming that on especially on certain areas, such as the gospel of Christ and sexual ethics, the Bible is clear. I’ve served as a missionary in China and Mongolia for the past 10 years and if you study the expansion of Christianity in the 20th century then you’ll know that the most rapid expansion has been evangelical and charismatic Christianity, which asserts the historic truths and interpretations of the Bible.

          For example the vast majority of Christians in China, Mongolia, Korea, Kenya, Nigeria, and Latin American countries would definitely say that pre-marital sex and extra-martial sex, along with homosexual sex, is wrong based on the Bible. This is consistent with what Christians have believe from Augustine to Luther to current Evangelical Christians, including the forgotten Syrian (Nestorian Christians) Christians, so it’s not just a Western idea.

          I know that a lot of modern scholarship rejects traditional Christian understandings or the person of Jesus, his teachings and miracles, and sexual ethics. However what’s interesting is that that kind of Christianity is not the one that literally hundreds of millions of non-western, non-Christianized Christians are embracing around the world. It’s the historic, traditional faith and understanding of the Bible that is changing lives and capturing hearts.

          3.) It’s true that there is not a seamless, clear ethic in the Bible about many things, including things like abortion or women’s authority in the church. I was not making that claim as you say. My claim is that there is a clear general sexual ethic made clear in the Bible, especially in the New Testament, with the Greek word Pornea coming up many times in the Bible and which is usually translated as sexual immorality.

          Against the backdrop of pagan, Greek and Roman culture, the Christian sex ethic of monogamous, heterosexual sex only within marriage is clear from history. Just read history from the 1st and 2nd century and it will be clear to you what the clear, Christian sex ethic was.

          4.) I am not taking a modern re-interpretation of the issue of homosexual sex, nor am I English centric. I am Asian American and have spent the last 10 years serving as a missionary in China and Mongolia. My understanding is the historic, Christian understanding.

          It is modern scholarship and changing attitudes towards sex ethics (i.e. anything done between two consenting adults is right and good).

          You say that I am simultaneously taking a modern re-interpretation of homosexual sex and at the same time ignoring modern scholarship, that seems to be a paradox.

          But you are right that I am holding onto the historic Christian faith and understanding, along with hundreds of millions of other Christians worldwide (if not over a billion people). The number of global Christians who think the same as me is vastly higher than those that hold onto modern scholarship that have re-interpreted the Christian faith, that is a fact.

  21. Who said these guys were gay? They could have wives at home, sharing a bed because the 2D was not available, and each got 10,000 HHonors points as compensation.

    It doesn’t quite explain why they are holding hands, but this is a travel points blog, after all. 😉

  22. Thanks for the post reminding me that a VERY large portion of internet commentators are simply terrible human beings. I’d guess people offended by this ad are actively on the lookout for things to be offended about. How about you be offended about how this country treats its poor, or its elderly, or its mentally ill? Or, you know, anything at all that actually matters, and not a picture of two men in bed (who are totally just hired models and are not a real couple anyway).

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