Masculinity, Homophobia, and Racism in Advertising

Nike's 2008 Hyperdunk
Historical Context
"That Ain't Right"
"Say Hello"
"Punks Jump Up"
Further Information
Sexism and Racism in Advertising Homepage
In addition to the specific advertisements symbolizing the intersections of masculinity and sexuality in sport that we chose to analyze, Weiden+Kennedy and Nike posted numerous advertisements for their 2008 Hyperdunk campaign, many of which contain homophobic and racial messages that are just as relevant to analyze as are those we selected for our webpage. There were also three filmic supplements that Nike made for the 2008 Hyperdunk campaign, and these three 'commercials,' which were posted primarily on the internet but later removed due to complaints.

When discussing polemics such as those we have throughout this entire webpage, there is always a vast amount of uncovered empirical, virtual, ethnographic, micropolitical, global, and nationalized examples and evidences of intersubjective contexts containing battles for powers and cultural captital. That past sentence being a mouthful is symbolic of how the internet offers endless details and facets of culturally saturated struggles for power dealing with race, sexuality, and masculinity. Our analysis has revealed a contextualized example of masculinity, homophobia, and racism in advertising that we have hoped to relate to broader, macropolitical discourses, but there are many other current and relevant cultural examples that dig further into the cultural battle scenes we have discussed:
  • 1998 PBS documentary interview with Michael Kimmel about his ideas of American masculinity and male constructivism.
  • North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance: NAGAAA is collective group promoting diversity within sport as well as a social networking tool for homosexual visibility in the sporting world.
  • The American Men's Studies Association: AMSA focuses on furthering the visibility and research performed for male and masculinity studies within America and abroad.
  • 'Basketball fags?': After ending a 6-game losing streak on April 3, 2011, Toronto Raptors teammates Leandro Barbosa and Reggie Evans left the court holding hands, and the internet world responded with hateful and homophobic messages for these two players, their team, and the basketball world at large. The video of the two players exiting the court is below:
  • PinkNews report of retired basketball player John Amaechi's struggle with the public's reaction to his homosexuality. Even the most open-mided and sympathetic reactions of current basketball players seem shrouded in homophobic bias: Shavlik Randolph said he would not mind having a gay teammate as long as he "did not bring his “gayness” on him."
  • One University of Arizona student's attempt to call for an inversion of tranditional homophobia by calling for an approach to embrace homoeroticism in sport in his school's public newspaper.
The premise of this entire webpage is thanks to the course material and assignments of Charlene Makley's Sex and Gender class at Reed College. Our research and analyses were supported and backed by many sources, and those whose work we cited are listed below:
  • Das, Veena. "Violence, Gender, and Subjectivity," Annual Review of Anthropology, Vol. 37: 283-299, October 2008.
  • hooks, bell. "Black Looks: Race and Representation." New York: South End Press. 1992.
  • Jhally, Sut. "Image-Based Culture: Advertising and Popular Culture," in Gail Dines and Jean M. Humez, (eds.) Gender, Race and Class in Media. London: Sage, 1995.
  • Kimmel, Michael. "Masculinity as Homophobia: Fear, Shame, and Silence in the Construction of Gender Identity," in Harry Brod and Michael Kaufman, (eds.), Theorizing Masculinities. London: Sage Publications, 1994.
  • Mac An Ghaill, Máirtín. "The Making of Black English Masculinities," in Harry Brod and Michael Kaufman, (eds.), Theorizing Masculinities. London: Sage Publications, 1994.
  • Weston, Kath. "Families We Choose: Lesbians, Gays, Kinship." New York: Columbia University Press, 1991.
All photos from Nike's 2008 Hyperdunk campaign are copyrighted by Nike, Inc. and were thought up by the following Wieden+Kennedy creative team:

AD: Sasha Swetchinski
CW: Edward Harrison
CD: Jeff Williams
SA: Brian Troyer, Rob Mumford and Rehanah Spence
SM: Sarah Starr
PM: Jason Schwartz
AE: Alyssa Ramsey
AB: Krystle Mortimore
Media: Tenny Park & Christy Ruiz PHOTO: Dewey Nicks
COLOR: Frazer Goodbody and Sef Mccullough

Nike's 2008 Hyperdunk // Historical Context // "That Ain't Right" // "Say Hello"
"Punks Jump Up" // Further Information // Sexism and Racism in Advertising Homepage