Mainstream media outlets and social media companies have rushed to defend supermarket giant Tesco for its Christianity-free Christmas advert.
The #EveryonesWelcome advert featured two gay fathers, Sikh dinner guests, and even a group of hijabi Muslim women with a child in a headscarf — but no overtly Christian characters, such as a priest or minister, or a woman wearing a cross, or a family with a Nativity scene somewhere in their home.
However, despite a largely negative public response, with roughly four times as many dislikes as likes on YouTube as of November 13th, establishment outlets are insisting the advert has been a great success, days after Breitbart London first reported the story.
“People are loving the diversity in the Tesco Christmas ad,” announces a Twitter Moment on the micro-blogging site’s UK News section.
“The advertisement has drawn mixed reaction but most viewers seem overjoyed at the diverse representation,” it adds — despite evidence to the contrary.
The Independent website, George Osborne’s Evening Standard, and The Guardian, among other outlets, have all penned reports framed to suggest the advert has been subject to a “racist backlash” for its inclusion of a Muslim family.
While some commenters did express surprise that Muslims would be featured in a Christmas advert — as the celebration of Christmas is generally discouraged in Islam — negative feedback has mostly centred on the exclusion of Christianity from the ad, rather than on the inclusion of non-Christians.
We do NOT celebrate Xmas and by not doing so it doesn't mean that British Muslims aren't integrated. If a Muslim celebrates Chrismas then they are not Muslims.
— أُم عمــــران (@Sana_AbdulWahed) November 13, 2017
“Everyone is welcome at Tesco this Christmas and we’re proud to celebrate the many ways our customers come together over the festive season”, said a Tesco spokesman in response to the controversy.
The retail giant added that it was proud to “celebrate the many ways we come together at Christmas, and how food sits at the heart of it all” — a statement which may come as a surprise to those who believed the birth of Christ was central to the holiday.