First noticed by French news outlet Jeanne Magazine, Apple modified its Mother’s Day iPhone ad in several countries to remove a same-sex couple that appears in the United States version of the ad. The couple does not appear in the German, Italian, Turkish, Japanese, or French versions of the ad, while they do appear in the Mexican, Australian, and Canadian versions (via BuzzFeed News).
In the countries where the couple was removed from the video, the image was replaced with an image of one of the mothers and the child. The lesbian couple is Melanie and Vanessa Roy, both of whom are very active on Instagram in sharing images of their family.
This isn’t the first time Apple has modified an advertisement for international countries. For instance, the Apple Watch “Date” ad featured tattoos in the American and French version. The Japanese version, however, did not. Essentially, Apple slightly modifying its ads to better suit the cultures of each individual country in which they air.
Apple isn’t the only company doing this. Toyota, for instance, removed a same-sex couple from a French advertisement. Coca-Cola, on the other hand, changed an ad that originally depicted a same-sex marriage to depict a heterosexual wedding in Ireland. In France, the wedding scene was replaced with a football match.
In Russia, Apple caught flack for the addition of same-sex emoji characters with iOS 9, which was thought to have violated the country’s controversial national ban on activity its government considers homosexual propaganda.
Apple hasn’t commented on the change, but the company has always been supportive of same-sex marriage. Employees of the company regularly participate in things like the San Francisco Pride Parade. Tim Cook has also stood up for numerous social issues, including marriage equality. Cook has voiced public opposition to anti-gay legislation in numerous states, while Apple as a company has long-supported the legalization of same-sex marriage.
With all of that said, removing the same-sex couple from the Mother’s Day ad is surprising move by Apple. It will be interesting to see if the company comments on the decision now that it is gaining publicity.