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After a string of suicides by LGBT youth hit the national media last year, author and journalist Dan Savage started the “It Gets Better Project.” The campaign solicits confessional-style videos offering statements of hope to LGBT teens -- but its latest video has sparked some unexpected controversy.
“What I’d love you to take away from it is, however bad is it now, it gets better -- and it can get great. And it’s important for adults to reach out to kids and share our stories so that they can picture futures for themselves that are worth sticking around for.” (Google)
This isn’t a video for the campaign -- it’s actually an advertisement for Google Chrome. At the end of the commercial, the text reads quote- “Dan Savage, messenger,” followed by the URL for the browser.
But the partnership has kicked up some criticism -- A writer for The Stir says, it could have been worse, but something about the ad just doesn’t seem right.
“I just feel a little played, ya know? Like Dan Savage and Google are conspiring to pull at our heartstrings in an effort to get us to ... download new software? ... But, yeah, Google and iPad are changing our lives ... Some people, like Savage, are using everyday to change the world. I guess why shouldn't we get a little emotional about 'em?”
But a blogger for The Bilerico Project, an LGBTQ group blog, uses much stronger language, calling the ad quote- “blood money.”
“When Google closes the commercial with a tagline about Dan Savage instead of the IGB Project, you can easily see what's more important - and it's not our children. … That's making blood money off of teenagers bullied so often that they can't think of any way to make things better than suicide.”
That accusation caught the attention of a writer for pro-LGBT rights website The New Civil Rights Movement, who counters by saying -- look on the bright side, at least Google took up the partnership.
“...maybe, just maybe, the fact that one of the world’s largest and most-respected companies is saying to LGBT kids ... they are valuable and important, and offering hope, is a value-added benefit. ... sometimes, it’s not only the message, but the messenger, who is able to get the point across.”
Finally, a writer for lesbian-oriented website AfterEllen notes, the commercial packed a lot of punch by airing during Fox’s highly popular show ‘Glee’.
“Now, that was extraordinary not only because it was well done, which it was, but because it was a gay-themed commercial that ran during primetime in the middle of a hit TV show on a major American broadcast network. And that, well, that doesn't happen too often.”
You can check out the video for yourself, just click on the link in the transcript section of this story.
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Transcript by Newsy.