IKEA Apologizes to Thai Transgender Community for TV Commercial

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IKEA is in hot water in Thailand for its holiday campaign that aimed for the funny bone and ended up hitting the Adam’s apple — and offending some viewers in the process. The TV commercial, released on Dec. 25th and promoting an end-of-year sale, shows a couple strolling through the store, only the gentleman doesn’t realize his companion is transgender.

As Reuters reported, “The 20-second commercial shown on YouTube and on Bangkok’s trains in December and January entitled ‘Luem Aeb’ (‘Forget to Keep Hidden’), was disrespectful to transsexuals, according to the Thai Transgender Alliance, which demanded an explanation from IKEA. Transgenders, or “Ladyboys” as they are often referred to, are widely accepted in Thailand and are commonplace in the fashion, beauty and entertainment industries, but are not officially recognized as women.”

According to Reuters, a letter of apology from the company to the transgender group is now in the works. See the commercial, along with other holiday spots from IKEA Thailand, below.[more]

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