An offensive Ikea TV commercial currently airing in Thailand is angering the transgender community, and Ikea has only been open here for a short time.
Ikea opened in Bangkok, Thailand last year, a fact I could never understand as why would you want to buy low-quality furniture and products made in China at an expensive price at Ikea when you can buy high-quality Thai-made products at 100,000 other Bangkok shops cheaper? Needless to say, I’ve never set foot in Ikea in Bangkok and never will.
Ikea, of course, is also known for their use of cheap forced labor by political prisoners in Chinese and East German prisons to make their low-quality furniture. So it’s not surprising to see Ikea, a company with questionable morals, putting out an offensive ad in Thailand making fun of the transgender community. After all, ‘decency’ at Ikea seems to be something the company doesn’t understand.
The advertisement in question was aired on Thai TV last month and this month and shows a young Thai girl at Ikea with her older ‘boyfriend’. As she spots something that is so supposedly cheap it’s shocking, she suddenly exclaims in a deep manly voice — proof once and for all that, yes indeed, ‘she’ is a Thai ladyboy. She is then left to lug a huge flat-packed piece of furniture home by herself as her ‘boyfriend’ runs off in the opposite direction.
Of course, the transgender community in Thailand is angry about what they say is an offensive Ikea TV commercial and has already sent a letter to Ikea telling them so. In the letter, the Thai Transgender Alliance says “the transgender content of the advertisement is negative and stereotypical in nature, perpetuating misunderstanding transgenderism as human sexuality for ‘deceitful and deviant lifestyle.’”
What they are missing, however, is the Ikea ad is also offensive to Thai men, as it also portrays a stereotypical Thai man who is obviously older, likely married, and still schlepping off to Ikea with his ‘mia noi girlfriend’ while the little Thai wife stays at home.