One Million Moms targets Uber Eats over Jonathan Van Ness ads

Dan Avery
·3 min read

One Million Moms is demanding that Uber Eats end a new campaign featuring Olympic gymnast Simone Biles and “Queer Eye” star Jonathan Van Ness.

The Christian group claims the ads are “pushing the LGBTQ agenda on families.”

In an email to members, OMM Director Monica Cole called Van Ness, who identifies as nonbinary but primarily uses he/him pronouns, a “cross-dresser” and accused Uber Eats of “attempting to brainwash viewers ... instead of focusing on providing a helpful service, especially during a pandemic.”

Commercials featuring Biles, the gold medalist and the reality TV star, debuted last week. In one spot, she launches into a series of flips before declaring, “Tonight, I’ll be eating cheesy cauliflower pizza with extra broccolini.”

Van Ness then walks into the gymnasium in the same leotard and announces he’s having the same order.

“Anything Simone Biles can do, Jonathan Van Ness can do … in his own, amazing way,” reads the tagline on YouTube.

In a follow-up clip, Biles asks Van Ness, a former high school cheerleader, if he wants to share his falafel wrap by saying “Splitsies?” He misunderstands and does a split on the balance beam instead.

“Instead of making audiences lose their appetite by glamorizing a LGBTQ lifestyle," Cole said, "Uber Eats should focus on what it does and remain neutral on controversial issues.”

She added that “watching someone prance around in the opposite sex’s clothing” is harmful to those struggling with their sexual identity.

An online petition urging the ride-share app to pull the ads has received more than 6,000 signatures to date.

“Supporting the LGBTQ agenda versus remaining neutral in the culture war is just bad business,” it reads in part. “If Christians cannot find corporate neutrality with Uber Eats and Uber, then they will vote with their money and support companies that are neutral.”

One Million Moms did not reply to a request for comment.

The group, an offshoot of the American Family Association, frequently protests LGBTQ-inclusive programs and advertising. Last year, it targeted Disney/Pixar’s “Toy Story 4” for including a scene of two moms dropping their child off at school. A December 2019 petition calling on the Hallmark Channel to remove an ad featuring a same-sex wedding received more than 36,000 signatures.

Uber said it’s standing by the campaign and its stars.

“At Uber Eats, we’re unapologetically committed to representing the flavor spectrum,” a spokesperson told NBC News. “From tacos to talent, we like it spicy. JVN and Simone serve gymnastic prowess and ... self-confidence, qualities millions of moms everywhere can—and do—support.”

The ads are part of Uber Eats’ “Tonight I’ll Be Eating” campaign, which pairs celebrities in humorous encounters. In earlier installments, sci-fi legends Mark Hamill and Patrick Stewart square off over who ordered the better meal.

The two actors trade barbs as they try to best each other at air hockey and Connect Four.

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