The folks down under may want drivers to avoid “hairy” situations while behind the wheel, but a character they conjured up for a public service announcement has ruffled the feathers of Christians and trans activists alike.
Nicknamed the “hairy fairy,” a long-haired dude clad in a pink frilly skirt and a crown woven from plants has offended these two groups, which are usually on opposite sides of the fence. For Christians, the hairy fairy looks a little too much like Jesus, and for LGBT protesters — well, no explanation is really needed.
According to the website of the government of South Australia’s Motor Accident Commission, the hairy fairy was conceived of to promote the message that when drivers feel tempted to speed, they invite “situations that could ‘get hairy’.” And since “there’s nothing normal about speeding,” they devised a pretty abnormal poster chold to encourage them to slow down.
A petition launched at Change.org argues:
This represents a gross misappropriation of a revered religious figure of western civilization, a person of significance to practicing and non-practicing Christians in Australia.
The Motor Accident Commission’s Facebook page has also been inundated with complaints, with one poster bemoaning how the ads “denigrate men who display feminine characteristics… using the word ‘fairy,’ which is an old-fashioned slur.”
Another commenter wrote:
Wow, I love how transphobic this is. I wish there was nothing normal about using a cheap gender gag to make a point, but unfortunately I appear to be wrong.
So far, the Motor Accident Commission has announced no plans to do away with the hairy fairy.