Can queer people queerbait? That's the debate that ignited last week over *check notes* dog food.
This past Wednesday, Queer Eye stars Jonathan Van Ness and Antoni Porowski took to social media to announce that after years of joking about being in a relationship, they were "finally together," complete with a heart emoji. Van Ness then teased, "Details tomorrow, but know that we’re very happy and feeling supported by the people around us."
Fans privy to their bit might've guessed that it was a marketing scheme, but some people seemed to earnestly believe the announcement and were happy for the "couple."
Sure enough, Porowski and Van Ness clarified the next day with uncropped photos that they are not life partners, but "*business* partners. Introducing our new company Yummers: meal mix-ins for pets!"
Many fans were...not happy.
While the jury is still out on if queer people can queerbait, the negative comments were prevalent enough that Van Ness felt the need to respond to them.
"Seeing folx be mad about two queer people making a joke to launch a biz are the same critics who have nothing to say about queer issues impacting queer people," they wrote on Twitter. "Don’t say trans bills, the overturning of Dobbs, the threat to marriage equality...but yes be mad about pet food."
While some fans were fine with moving on, others thought this dismissal only made matters worse.
"This message right here sucks worse than the awful stereotype joke you used to grab headlines to promote your business so you could make money. But sure, throw trans bills on here so you look altruistic," one commenter wrote.
Another responded, "you 2 getting richer from a branding deal does nothing to affect those bills or the lives of the queer ppl they actually impact whatsoever and neither does you yas queening politicians so don’t try to virtue signal as if you add anything to the world other than sponsored content."
And the discourse just keeps rolling.
Some would say their little marketing scheme worked, as the duo and their dog food line are getting plenty of attention, but is all press good press? Who's to say! But one thing is for certain...it's Yummers time.