SINGAPORE, Jan 20 — An advertisement meant to tug at viewers’ heartstrings while promoting Samsung’s latest wearable products backfired after it drew public backlash for its portrayal of a Muslim mother expressing support for her drag queen son.

The company has since taken down the online video, saying that it was aware of feedback that it “may be perceived as insensitive and offensive to some members of our local community”.

“We acknowledge that we have fallen short in this instance, and have since removed the content from all public platforms,” it said in a Facebook post on Wednesday (Jan 19).

The advertisement in question was part of Samsung’s “Listen to Your Heart” series aimed at promoting its noise-cancelling earbuds and smart watch that features a heart rate monitor.


Participants featured in the campaign would listen to a message from a loved one through the earbuds while their heart rate was monitored by the smart watch.

One of the participating pairs was a Muslim mother and her drag queen son, who thanked his mother for her unwavering support.

The scene sparked outrage online, with people angered by its insensitivity to the Muslim community.


Some online users were also riled by what they felt was an attempt to normalise and push LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer) ideology into a largely conservative Muslim community.

Homosexuality remains a sensitive topic in Singapore, despite increasing calls for more acceptance of the LGBTQ community here.

In its post, Samsung added that it “believes that innovation and growth are driven by diversity and inclusivity”.

“We will certainly be more mindful and thorough in considering all perspectives and viewpoints for our future marketing campaigns.”  — TODAY