Hoping new GAP ad helps keep ‘Christ in’ Christmas, AFA suspends boycott
Pro-family group livid retailer was promoting ‘Happy Whateveryouwannakah’ Day
The conservative American Family Association has decided to extend a holiday gesture to a company that it had just recently decided to boycott.
From a press release sent to RAW STORY:
The American Family Association is suspending its Christmas season-boycott of Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic pending the debut of a new Christmas-themed commercial this Saturday, Nov. 28.
Gap’s Vice-President of Corporate Communications, Bill Chandler, informed the AFA via email that Old Navy’s new commercial “has a very strong Christmas theme.”
“As a gesture of our ‘good will to men,’ we have decided to suspend our boycott of Gap and its divisions until we see the content of this new commercial,” said Bryan Fischer, the AFA’s director of issues analysis. “We firmly believe that Gap is responding to an enormous amount of pressure from the AFA network. It looks like Gap has finally decided that a recession is a bad time to take a principled stand on secularism and alienate a huge percentage of their customer base. We’re happy that they’re apparently keeping Christ and Christmas in the Christmas season.”
Added Buddy Smith, the executive assistant to Tim Wildmon, the president of AFA, “Gap cheapened the meaning of this holy day in their most recent commercial by putting it on the same level as Kwanzaa and the winter solstice. But, because of the importance of Christ’s influence on the world in general and America in particular, celebrating His birth should be in a class all by itself. We are pleased that Gap is apparently beginning to agree.”
However, the statement adds, “AFA officials made it clear that the boycott may be resumed if the new ad is not respectful to Christians and Christmas shoppers.”
AFA’s beef with the GAP is that their new ad campaign “mentions Christmas but encourages people to have a ‘Happy Whateveryouwannakah,'” Denver’s 7 News reported earlier this month.
“AFA believes this ad to be completely dismissive and disrespectful to those who celebrate the meaning and spirit of Christmas,” said Randy Sharp of the American Family Association.
When 7NEWS asked people what they thought about “Whateveryouwannakah,” the reactions were mixed.
“Everything is PC about everything,” said Vicky Greer.
“I think it’s funny,” said Suzanne Wilson.
The Week noted that the AFA had complained that the GAP was “taking a ‘cavalier approach’ to the Christian holiday by equating it with ‘pagan’ holidays.
Since the day after Thanksgiving, referred to by retailers as Black Friday, is the busiest shopping day of the year, GAP stores have to be pleased with the AFA’s decision.
If the GAP commercial, say, includes an all-out fist fight between Santa and Jesus (YouTube link to South Park clip), however, then the boycott will probably be back in full effect before anyone’s leftover Thanksgiving turkey is finished.
This is a video of the GAP’s Christmas ad: