This is a disheartening story that I feel the need to share for many reasons. Ernie Joseph, who plays Ben on our Web series “Family,” recently shot a commercial for the Australian olive oil company OliVaylle. The commercial was created by Mulberry Street advertising firm and produced by Black Squirrel Productions in Seattle. Ernie was excited about this new opportunity because he was told by the producers that he was likely going to be the new face of the brand, and that there could be a series of commercials featuring him to be produced in the future. Then, suddenly, the plug was pulled on his new advertising gig and the commercial Ernie shot was actually re-shot with a different actor. Producers told Ernie that the owners of OliVaylle had received links to “Family” and because of the nature of the show, no longer wanted Ernie to represent them.
In my opinion this is a terribly bigoted move by this Australian company. I know that there is a large polyamory community in Australia and that many of them are fans of our web series, “Family.” I wonder how they will feel about this. If I could wave a magic wand and make everyone aware of this injustice and the company behind it, I would.
Thank you all for your support of the web series, and thanks especially to those of you who aren’t poly yourselves, but are tolerant and open-minded enough not to discriminate against those of us who are, or those of us who are involved in this apparently controversial web series.
Producer, 3 Dog Pictures LLC
I recommended that Terisa refer Ernie to the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom, which routinely offers advice and assistance to polyamorous people who are subjected to job discrimination. The most outrageous part of all this is that Ernie was dismissed for playing a polyamorous character, not for actually BEING polyamorous. Apparently OliVaylle believes Ernie portraying such a "character" while simultaneously being the face of their product would be harmful to their sales. Sheesh.
If you've never see "Family", take a look. Here's the first episode.
Episodes 1 through 6 are available on YouTube with episode 7 being posted there this coming Monday, February 9, 2009. Episodes are posted every two weeks.