Life at the Intersection | Commercials

“Sometimes, you just have to say and do something!”

Some of you may be aware that in this present stage of my life, I work as an actor. I have been fortunate enough to be cast in two national commercials over the past nine months, and one of them is “on the air” now. I am also a proud member of SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists). So I was surprised, saddened and greatly disappointed when I read that the Rev. Franklin Graham called for a boycott of Wells Fargo Bank because of a commercial featuring a partnered female couple learning sign language so they could adopt, and communicate with more fully, a new daughter.  Graham said,

“Wells Fargo Bank is using a same-sex couple in their advertising. And there are more. But it has dawned on me that we don’t have to do busin

ess with them. At the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, we are moving our accounts from Wells Fargo to another bank.”

Yes, commercials are meant to encourage you to “buy into” something, but the best commercials also are a hopeful and healthy reflection of our society, and the “Wells Fargo – Learning Sign Language” commercial does just that, as does the series of Wells Fargo ads released in the past six weeks. So, I realized between my disappointment and tears, I had to do something. I drove to the nearest Wells Fargo Bank, told the banker why I was there, and opened a new checking account. Then I went back home, looked at the ad a few more times, watched the ad I’m in, and clicked “Like” each time I watched the ads.

Dear ReconcilingWorks Friends in Christ, I encourage you to go and do something to affirm the Wells Fargo commercial, for from where I stand, saying  “no” to that ad is just like saying “no” to the ad I did, and also like saying “no” to our best selves as we seek to build the beloved community. See them for yourselves.

The ad I’m in is on YouTube – type in “Enjoy Illinois – Grandpa.” (Both of these ads have exceeded one million views on YouTube – thanks be to God!)

By the way, for the first time, the Chicago SAG-AFTRA Local will be marching in the Gay Pride Parade on June 28, and I will be there!  May God give us strength and courage this day and always!

In peace, love, and joy, Michael