Jonathan Van Ness Responds To The Backlash Surrounding Their “Queerbaiting” Promo Stunt With Antoni Porowski

September 19, 2022 / Posted by:

As mentioned in Crumbs last week, Queer Eye’s Jonathan Van Ness and Antoni Porowski were accused of queerbaiting while promoting their new pet food company, Yummers. Wait, can queer people queerbait? I’ll let you be the judge, as we deep dive into the JVN + Antoni Faking A Relationship To Sell Yummers Saga! Heads up: if you’re recovering from any kind of eye surgery, I’d advise you to skip this one, cuz your peepers will undoubtedly be rollin’…

So, last week, JVN and Antoni posted these intimate pictures on their social media accounts. Both wrote that, after years of joking, they were “finally together as partners.” Note that Jonathan has been married to Mark Peacock since 2020 and Antoni has a boyfriend, but lots of people are in open relationships, so maybe they were coming out as polyamorous:

From the jump, people on Instagram and Twitter smelled something fishy and correctly guessed that this was a promotional stunt. Sure enough, the very next day, JVN and Antoni revealed that they were actually *business* partners and selling Yummers meal mix-ins for pets. Whomp whomp!:

Overall, the reaction to this reveal was not supportive. People were both annoyed and angry, and that’s when the “queerbaiting” accusations came out. Antoni has (wisely) remained mum, but JVN responded to a now-deleted comment on Instagram, writing:

hi love, sorry to see you go! We actually launched a whole business together that we’ve worked really so hard to create and wanted to create some fun splashy buzz around it. I’m happily married and figured most people would get the joke, never meant to offend or manipulate. Big hug.

Then, JVN took to Twitter, writing that the same people who were mad about “two queer people making a joke” were the same people who don’t do shit about “queer issues impacting queer people,” citing trans rights, abortion rights, and the threat to marriage equality. Except, as many pointed out in the replies to this tweet… many of JVN’s critics were queer. And what did this have to do with queer issues or trans rights? JVN was accused of virtue signaling:

JVN also came for the Slate article that called the Yummers debacle manipulative and annoying. JVN accused the journalist of being transphobic for writing that this stunt wasn’t surprising, since it was coming from “the person that came out as nonbinary at the same time they announced a collab with a nail polish brand”:

So now you’re totally up to date. The question is: how will this affect Yummers? The gourmet pet food mix-ins and functional toppers have received far more publicity because of the backlash, but will it ultimately hurt sales? Or maybe, just maybe, this idea was always doomed. Cuz what the fuck are “gourmet pet food mix-ins and functional toppers”? Dogs aren’t that picky, those bitches will eat their own puke!

Pic: Instagram

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