mid public criticism, Hong Kong’s MTR and airport have both overturned their bans on a Cathay Pacific advertisement which stars a same-sex couple.
The ad for the Hong Kong-based airline shows two men walking together on the beach hand-in-hand alongside the phrase ”Move Beyond Labels.” It was intended to highlight the company’s attitude towards inclusion and diversity. However, it ended up highlighting more the attitudes of the city’s two leading transport companies.
While other adverts in the same series were displayed by the MTR and airport, this one was not, igniting anger among Hong Kong’s LGBT community.
In the face of this criticism, at first, both companies defended the bans, stating that the ad failed to comply with company guidelines and regulations. However, both were soon forced to do a quick about-face. The Airport Authority Hong Kong stated that the poster did not, in fact, violate established guidelines, while the MTR shared a social media post, declaring its supposed support of diversity.
While Taiwan recently became the first in Asia to legalize same-sex marriages, Hong Kong continues to be known more for its conserative attitudes than its protections of gay rights, though the city is slated to host the Gay Games in 2022.