The Gender Balanced Beer Commercials By Neil Patrick Harris & The Grill Master Essay

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In the vast majority of advertisements, beer is positioned as an alcoholic beverage for men, and more specifically, heterosexual men. Oftentimes, beer commercials seem as though they are selling “testosterone juice.” The commercials look like a hop-fueled fraternity parties replete with sexually objectified women. Pitchmen include the “most interesting man in the world,” male sports celebrities and every day “bros.” The most gender-balanced beer commercials are parties on beaches where women are guests, but not portrayed as the primary consumers of beer. Recently, Amy Schumer, alongside Seth Rogen, broke the glass ceiling by serving as the spokesperson for Bud Light Beer. But what about other marginalized groups? Earlier this year, Heineken released a commercial for Heineken Light featuring openly gay actor Neal Patrick Harris. Heineken Light’s “Neil Patrick Harris & the Grill Master” both reflects and resists hegemonic norms of sexuality through the juxtaposition of the two actors’ characterizations. Neil Patrick Harris represents homosexual men in a way that does not reflect or reinforce gay stereotypes. His sexuality is not made obvious through his behavior, as his lines are served in a deadpan manner. Instead, his gayness is revealed through the sexual innuendo in his dialogue. On the other hand, the “grill master” is the picture of heterosexual masculinity, both in his grilling and his subtle fear of homosexuality. Overall, the commercial is representative of the divide
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