It's probably not an exaggeration to say that, for most of us, life feels profoundly different at the end of this year than it did when we started it. A lot of us have endured lengthy physical separations from friends and family, the psychological stress of living through a pandemic, and all the other challenges—financial, emotional—that the past nine or 10 months have brought.
But there are some people who seem to have made it through this cursed year relatively unscathed; instead of worrying about making their next rent payment, or volunteering at their local food banks, they spent the whole thing being angry and complaining about a seemingly endless list of fast food commercials, children's TV shows, and "implied profanity”—whatever the fuck that is. Yes, we're talking about One Million Moms.
One Million Moms describe themselves as "the most powerful tool you have to stand against the immorality, violence, vulgarity and profanity the entertainment media is throwing at your children"—and they spend their time writing angry articles and petitions about things like the lesbians in Toy Story 4, the gay character in the live-action Beauty and the Beast, and children's books that reference a kid's same-sex parents. In reality, the group is part of the fundamentalist Christian American Family Association, which the Southern Poverty Law Center designates as an anti-LGBTQ hate group—which is undoubtedly why so many of their complaints are about TV shows or commercials that depict gay, transgender, or nonbinary individuals and their relationships.
It has also been suggested that there are far, far fewer than a million moms involved: Although they have just over 4,700 Twitter followers, and 103,000 people like their Facebook page, GLAAD has speculated that the organization could be even smaller than that.
"[I]t is nearly impossible to pin down just how many people they actually reach,” a GLAAD spokesperson previously told The Advocate. “The parent organization, AFA, claims to have ‘approximately 170,000 subscribers to its monthly flagship publication’ and ‘more than 1 million email subscribers.' However, these numbers have always been fudged, as AFA is notorious for counting as a supporter anyone who ever fills out one of their forms––something many opponents of the organization do as a way to troll them with oppositional/mocking information.”
Jeremy Hooper, a frequent GLAAD contributor, believes there is just one mom, and her name is Monica Cole. "In the decade that I have been aware of One Million Moms, she is quite literally the only staff member I have ever heard anyone name," he wrote. "She is the one and only person who appears on their petitions, as well as the one and only person who speaks for them to the media. She is the mom."
Whether One Million Moms is just Monica, a few thousand Monicas, or Monica and a "Live, Laugh, Love" sign with glued-on googly eyes, the organization has had a busy year. Here are some of the random things that upset them in 2020, and their irritation more or less suggests that these things are all pretty great.
This year's dumpster fire was still mostly dumpster sparks when One Million Moms balled up their little fists and screamed about "an extremely destructive and damaging" commercial from those known provocateurs at, uh, Burger King. The Impossible Whopper ad had already been out for four months, but when OMM found out about it, they were upset that innocent children could've been inadvertently exposed to "the d-word." Dick? Double-penetration? DEMOCRACY? Nope, they were big mad that a customer said, "Damn, that's good" after trying the then-new Impossible sandwich. It was going to be a long year.
At this point, I'm almost nostalgic for February, when the only thing that half the country had to worry about was whether or not J-Lo and Shakira were dangerously sexy during their Super Bowl halftime show. (And a shoutout to right-wing Christian minister Dave Daubenmire, who threatened to sue the NFL, claiming the show put him and his son in danger of "hell fire".) One Million Moms were unsurprisingly "disgusted" by the performance, though they described it in such great detail that it's hard to believe that they watched it just once.
They were also deeply upset by a Sabra hummus commercial that featured two former RuPaul's Drag Race contestants, arguing that parents would have to "explain [it] to their confused children." Hopefully, the kids were able to explain the concept of hummus to their worried moms, because you know these people don't snack on anything but powdered dips.
This month, the Mom(s) saw an upsetting post on the Sesame Street Facebook page, which teased Billy Porter's appearance on an upcoming episode. Specifically, they were unsettled by Porter's "gender bender tuxedo gown," and also—for some reason—by PBS' use of the fire emoji, "which is used to signify that something is cool, awesome, exciting, or 'on fire.'” Not only are these people profoundly awful, they're also huge fucking dorks.
Porter responded by politely walking them. "I know people are all up in arms about me wearing the gorgeous custom [Christian Sirano] tuxedo dress that I wore at [The Academy Awards] in 2019 for the upcoming season," he wrote on Instagram. "If you follow me, however, you know the impact it had. The emails, DMs, and messages of goodwill I received that day (and continue to receive) from parents and their children who have been bullied all over the world and desperately need to see someone like me, being their authentic selves on mainstream media, is far more important than anything #onemillionmoms could ever say."
If 1MM had any self-awareness, they might be concerned by the amount of time and energy they spend watching children's programming, but they don't, so they spent April complaining that a character in the recent Ducktales reboot had two dads. "The dads share the same last name and both wear T-shirts with the phrase “I’M WITH DAD” on the front and arrows pointing at each other," they wrote. "There is no denying their romantic relationship. It is extremely apparent that they are a couple."
At least both dads––and their biological and adopted daughters––all wear pants, unlike Scrooge McDuck, who could inadvertently expose his gross corkscrew dick to his employees, business rivals, or nephews at any time.
That deafening sound you heard in mid-May was the Million(-ish) Moms blowing out their O-rings because Paris Jackson had been cast as a "gender-bending" Jesus in an upcoming film called Habit. "This sacrilegious movie Habit mocks Christianity and ridicules people of faith," they wrote of the film, which also stars Gavin Rossdale. "Elevated Films has obviously gone too far."
Wait...Gavin Rossdale??? Maybe Elevated Films has gone too far.
Labor of Love was a strange dating competition in which one woman had eight episodes to decide which of the show's 15 contestants she wanted to have a kid with. Its most-watched episode still had smaller viewing numbers than reruns of Young Sheldon, S.W.A.T., and Law & Order SVU, but One Million Moms were somehow in the audience. (That, or a talking serpent warned them of the show's existence). The fact that they hate it isn't in doubt, but the idea that 16,500 people signed their petition against it should be.
Mid-summer brought a BOGO of dipshittery. 1MM did some language policing after learning about an obscure little musical called Hamilton ("Shame on Disney+ for allowing even one f-bomb, along with other multiple uses of profanity," they wrote in a petition), and they tried to shame Cascade (the dishwasher detergent company) for suggesting that old people bone. "I am disgusted by the 'Do It Every Night' commercial that Cascade is currently airing," they complained. I'm tired, Monica. Aren't you tired?
Cardi B and Meghan Thee Stallion released their gloriously graphic, sex-positive single "WAP"—VICE's number-one of the year, btw—on August 7, and either 1MM accidentally asphyxiated themselves by clutching their pearls too tightly against their tracheas, or they wisely decided not to call Ms. Almánzar out. Instead, they decided to petition Disney about its "dangerous," "dark," and "demonic" cartoon, The Owl House. In addition to, like, transforming your living room into a yawning doorway to the outer darkness, its lead character is a bisexual 14-year-old. Just curious—who do we petition about adults who focus on the sexual preferences of animated ducks and cartoon children?
Dole's "Quaran-Tensions" campaign was a very Right Now trio of commercials for the brand's Fruit Bowls, and it also hit a One Million Moms outrage trifecta because the ads involved sexual innuendo, implied profanity, and lesbians. Well done, Dole.
The first full month of autumn brought colder temperatures, which meant that the Moms had to heat their home(s) by using their own internal fury. This time around, they were angry at Frank's Red Hot for a commercial that "insinuated foul language" with its "I Put That Bleep on Everything" tagline; at Oreo's Pride campaign, made in collaboration with LGBTQ support and advocacy organization PFLAG; and at Uber Eats, for an ad featuring gymnast Simone Biles and "cross-dresser" Jonathan Van Ness.
"The world we live in makes me sad, but I’d do x1000000 more commercials with [Van Ness] just to piss everyone off," Biles tweeted about the backlash from the Moms. "The LGBTQIA will always have my support and feel welcome on my socials."
Nothing signals the beginning of the festive season like hearing that Paul McCartney Christmas song in the supermarket, people complaining about how shitty the Paul McCartney Christmas song is, and 1MM getting pissed at the Hallmark Channel for daring to suggest that gay people also celebrate the holidays.
Last year, they threatened a boycott over a Zola commercial that featured a lesbian wedding; This year, they're threatening a boycott because of The Christmas House, a movie about a gay couple adopting their first kid. "1MM is boycotting all things Hallmark," they wrote. "This includes Hallmark Channel, Hallmark wrapping paper, greeting cards, Christmas ornaments, etc." Shit, hope that 110-year-old company will survive without you buying two gift bags from the clearance section, Monica.
"RITZ Crackers Redefines Family As Two Men While Man Wears Makeup"
Oh, just fuck off.