(MultiCultClassics credits ESPN’s C’MON MAN! for sparking this semi-regular blog series.)
Adweek reported Rooster CCO Gavin McInnes was asked to take a leave of absence after publishing a nasty perspective on transphobia. In most other U.S. industries, McInnes would have been fired—and that his employers didn’t show the intelligence to do so is another poor reflection on the cultural cluelessness in the advertising business. Granted, Rooster boasts being unlike typical ad agencies; however, what the place produces for clients definitely falls under the category of advertising.
McInnes was not exactly a big name in the field before this episode, so it’s tough to judge the man’s character and reputation. In addition to the transphobic post, he provided clueless commentary on the recent Anthony Cumia incident. Plus, he’s a FOX News commentator, which pretty much brands him as an ignorant, narcissistic asshole. But being an ignorant, narcissistic asshole is not grounds for termination—otherwise, Madison Avenue would experience a mass dismissal of epic proportion.
No, McInnes ought to be canned for a much simpler reason: his highly public opinions arguably create a hostile work environment. Imagine how a transgender or Black employee might feel having to report to a douchebag like McInnes. Hell, his FOX News rant on spring break might make women uncomfortable to be managed by him. McInnes symbolizes all the negative stereotypes of the discriminatory White men dominating the ad game. The stuff he does is just not cool. McInnes is to Madison Avenue what Donald Sterling was to the NBA—and he deserves a similar fate.
So this is directed at McInnes and the leaders of Rooster (most of whom appear to be of the Caucasian persuasion):
C’MON WHITE MAN!
Rooster CCO Gavin McInnes Asked to Take Leave of Absence
Following transphobic Thought Catalog essay, boycott
By Kristina Monllos
Gavin McInnes, chief creative officer of Rooster in New York, has been asked to take an indefinite leave of absence following the publication of a transphobic essay.
Published earlier this week on Thought Catalog, “Transphobia is Perfectly Natural” has at publication received 2,082 comments. It has also sparked a “Boycott Rooster” movement, with Tumblr and Twitter accounts asking followers to let Rooster clients—Vans, Red Bull, Fox Sports and others—know they will not support companies that work with McInnes.
“Gavin’s views are his own and do not represent those of the company or its members,” said a Rooster representative. “We are extremely disappointed with his actions and have asked that he take a leave of absence while we determine the most appropriate course of action.”
McInnes co-founded Rooster in 2010 as an agency that would make ads for people who hate ads. He has appeared in the shop’s work for Vans, most recently as the man who explains how to do absolutely everything.
Prior to that, he co-founded Vice Magazine. McInnes has made controversial comments publicly before, with essays on Thought Catalog and contributions to Fox News. Though, due to the tone of his work, some are unsure if it is meant to be taken seriously.
McInnes could not be reached for comment.