ICYMI, McDonalds Philippines released an adorable commercial showcasing a same-sex love story just in time for Pride Month. It features a couple played by Ky Mahinay (who is queer in real life) and SEA Games medalist Kaizen dela Serna.
Entitled “You’re my happy place…,” the short film features Mahinay, who passes by the McDonald’s drive thru on a skateboard as she orders a cheeseburger a la carte, which gets handed over to her by a cute drive-thru operator played by dela Serna.
Mahinay then skates by the drive-thru again, this time ordering fries. When dela Serna hands over her order, she coyly smiles, saying, “Thanks again,” before taking a bite out of her fries.
The skater then circles again, this time to order a large iced coffee. “I got thirsty,” she cheekily tells the crew member.
We then see Mahinay’s character sitting by the steps of the McDonald’s store, when the operator walks out at the end of her shift. “Ma’am, here’s your dessert,” she says, holding an ice cream cone.
As it turns out, the two are dating. Mahinay looks at dela Serna lovingly, who then quips, “Just like your sundae cone, I might melt,” as they laugh and hold hands.
The commercial was a hit online for its wholesome love story, as the LGBTQIA+ community rejoiced at seeing themselves represented in a commercial by one of the world’s largest fastfood giants.
But like almost everything else that goes viral, the commercial managed to reach foreign shores and critics, including those in the United States, who slammed the ad for “showcasing the bare minimum” and claimed it was a form of “rainbow capitalism.”
This did not sit well with Filipinos, particularly those from the queer community who insisted that “white people” shouldn’t force their outsider perspectives onto local culture, particularly given the Philippines’ current political climate.
“Before anyone says anything about rainbow capitalism, I just want everyone to know that the Philippine bill proposal that protects [LGBTQIA+] from discrimination has gone unapproved for 23 years. It is also illegal to change the gender marker on your birth certificate here,” one user wrote.
“The white people intruding on this and commenting on how this is ‘pandering’ not knowing how fucking hostile the Philippines is to queer people, and especially not knowing anything about our current political climate should absolutely know their place when it comes to this,” another said.