S.C. Johnson drops 'He's a Lady' backing
Move follows drive against reality show
By DORIS HAJEWSKI
Posted: Oct. 18, 2004
S.C. Johnson & Son Inc., the Racine household products manufacturer, has backed out of its sponsorship of "He's a Lady," a cross-dressing reality show that debuts tonight on Turner Broadcasting System.
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Johnson pulled its sponsorship just a week before the launch, after conservative groups campaigned against the show.
"We have assessed the show, and we will not sponsor it," said S.C. Johnson spokeswoman Margie Mandli.
Mandli declined to answer further questions about the decision.
In the show, 11 men, including three from the Milwaukee area, compete dressed as women for $250,000 in a series of feminine challenges. TBS recruited the participants by telling them they would be on a show called "All American Man," where they would face tough physical challenges.
Instead, they found themselves wearing bras, high heels and artificial fingernails, and facing people in their hometowns as women.
Neither S.C. Johnson nor TBS would confirm the nature of the sponsorship, but Ad Age, an advertising trade publication, reported that the deal included the placement of Johnson products such as Ziploc food storage bags, Oust air sanitizer and Edge shaving gel in the show.
A spokeswoman for TBS said, "We cannot comment on S.C. Johnson's decision. In the spirit of 'Tootsie,' this is a show that takes a light-hearted and comedic look at how gender roles in our society affect our everyday lives and, once it airs, viewers will see that for themselves."
The conservative Traditional Values Coalition has urged people to contact TBS and S.C. Johnson to complain about the show. On its Web site, the coalition described "He's a Lady" as a "new homosexual-inspired transvestite show."
This article is a few weeks old, but I found it bizarre that S.C. Johnson would feel so threatened by this show.