An Alberta pro-oil sands group is apologizing for a controversial advertisement that’s received heavy criticism.
COSC’s Facebook ad was meant to highlight how extracting oil sands in Canada is much preferable than importing oil from Saudi Arabia or other OPEC nations rife with human rights abuses. In Saudi Arabia, homosexuality is punishable by death, though it’s not often prescribed by the courts.
The poster illustrates a photo of two women kissing with a caption that reads, “In Canada lesbians are considered hot! In Saudi Arabia if you’re a lesbian YOU DIE! Why are we getting our oil from countries that don’t think lesbians are hot?!”
Apparently, the ad didn’t work its magic with people on Facebook
Canada Oil Sands Community founder Robbie Picard posted any apology on the group’s Facebook page which includes “It was not my intent of demeaning women or any people of any sexual orientation.”
“I support the oil sands but do not support homosexual sex,” Jennifer Brown wrote on COSC Facebook page. “This ad is was inappropriate and overtly sexual. You have done much harm for the oil sands its cause.”
“[T]hat poster was disgusting, fetishizing queer women and reducing the existence of lesbians to something for men’s pleasure — for something for men to find ‘hot,’ Jessa Evenden, who is a women’s studies major at the University of Toronto, wrote on Facebook.
Even though not everyone thought the ad was offensive, COSC founder Robbie Picard posted an apology on Facebook and took down the ad Monday.
“I apologize for the poster I posted,it was not my intent of demeaning women or any people of any sexual orientation,” he wrote. “It’s was rather to highlight injustice done by other countries we are purchasing our oil from. I certainly don’t want to divide our community I believe in equality and human rights.”