Watch: Oreo Has Conservatives in a Lather over Coming-Out Ad

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Tuesday April 5, 2022

"America's favorite cookie" is getting hate from conservatives because of an affirming short film titled "The Note," by director Alice Wu. The spot, which Oreo posted to social media, tells the story of a young man rehearsing a coming out speech and finding support from his mother, reported.

"As they anticipate the arrival of their relatives, the family is shown eating Oreos," said.

While heartwarming for many potential customers, the ad crumbled the cookies of conservative commentator Ben Shapiro, who took umbrage and fired off two blasts at the company on Twitter. "Your cookie must affirm your sexual lifestyle," Shapiro tweeted.

"Again, the chief reply here seems to be: 'How dare you notice that a cookie company is now running ads on sexual orientation?' Guys, the story is that every woke corporation now believes it must become an activist LGBTQIA+-%6& outlet. And yes, that's a story," Shapiro said in a follow-up tweet.

Elsewhere, however, the spot earned kudos, with The Drum choosing "The Note" as its "Ad of the Day" and saying that Wu's film "stands head and shoulders above the rest."

"'The Note' is an intimated retelling of a young Chinese-American man and his journey of coming out as gay to all of his family members," The Drum recounted. "It opens with a tense scene as the boy seemingly struggles to speak to his parents about his feelings. As the story progresses, the camera focuses on items throughout their home and it's slowly revealed that they are rehearsing, as a group, for an impending conversation with his grandmother."

The short film is also an immigrants' tale, as the young man is practicing to deliver his message in Chinese (the video is subtitled). The young man hesitates at one point, and as the camera focuses on the written text he's memorizing, we see the word that has given him pause: "Gay."

When his supportive mother soothes him, the young man pivots: "I love you."

"I think you're ready," his mother tells him in English, even as the doorbell rings. Pausing in front of a mirror to check his look and then glancing one more time at his notes, the young man sees that his mother has added a few more words at the bottom — words of unconditional acceptance.

The short film ends with the words, "Coming out doesn't happen just once."

The slogan was repeated in a tweet from Oreo that included the ad as an embedded video. "It's a journey that needs love and courage every step of the way," the post said.

"Share our new film," the post added, "and let someone know you're their #LifelongAlly."

The company, in partnership with PFLAG, also produced and posted a short film called "Proud Parent" in 2020 that told the story of a young woman bringing her girlfriend home and winning the acceptance of her father, who initially seems disapproving. Then, just as they are now, anti-LGBTQ+ conservatives got into a twist over Oreo's overture to the LGBTQ+ market.

Watch Alice Wu's sweet short film below.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.