A banner by Cathay Pacific was recently banned by Hong Kong’s public train system and airport for depicting a same-sex couple with the tagline, “Move Beyond Labels.”
The advert shows two men holding hands as they stroll along the beach, part of the latest Cathay Pacific Airways campaign known as ‘Move Beyond’ that emphasizes on the airline’s embrace of diversity.
In response to the homosexual content, both the Airport Authority of Hong Kong and the Mass Transit Railway (MTR) Corporation rejected the visual. Meanwhile, ads from the same campaign stayed up in highly visible areas of the city, as they did not contain LGBTQ+ overtones.
A spokesman from Cathay Pacific declined to comment about the ad being banned by the transport authorities, but reinstated the airline’s policy of inclusion, declaring, “We are very diverse and our customers are too,” in a statement via South China Morning Post (SCMP).
As a result of public outcry from the city’s LGBT community and activists, who initiated an online campaign condemning the decision, the MTR Corporation has decided to reverse the ban, and the Airport Authority has also followed suit.
Hong Kong’s first openly gay lawmaker Raymond Chan Chi-chuen also relates to SCMP that MTR Corporation chairman Fred Ma Si-hang called him on Monday claiming that the rail operator’s board encourages “embracing diversity,” and that the initial decision to pull the graphic was made by the advertising agency.
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