Clearasil is coming under fire for a new commercial that portrays a flamboyant teen as a blemish that must be erased before the prom.
The 30-second ad, "Pimples Makes Terrible Prom Dates," shows two teenage girls in a high school bathroom discussing the upcoming dance. When one notices she has a zit forming on her forehead, she declares "if this turns into a pimple, I will literally die."
The camera then zooms into her pores, where we see an annoying teen in head-to-toe pink asking, "Who wouldn't want to go to prom with this?" before being eradicated by Clearasil's Daily Clean Wash.
Cut to the young girl at the dance with a handsome date.
Some are criticizing the spot, which is airing on TV and Clearasil's YouTube channel: On social media, viewers say the annoying suitor is meant to be gay, and accuse Clearasil of using homophobic stereotypes to sell product.
"Imagine the marketing department brainstorming this Clearasil commercial," tweeted Savage Garden singer Darren Hayes. "Let's make the pimple an extremely, gay guy in a pink suit, and then we'll kill it so the girls can go to the prom!'"
One Youtube commenter called the commercial "such a terrible anti-gay message using a typical stereotype."
Others say Clearasil should've gone with a different approach.
On Facebook, one user asked "if people would object if they cast an African American man dressed in a black suit to play the role of a blackhead," before urging his followers to call Clearasil. He also indicated he sent the clip to GLAAD.