Mother Slams Trolls Who Say Her Son Was ‘Sexualized’ In John Lewis Ad
After her child starred in the ‘Let Life Happen’ advert, the mother of the boy was on the receiving end of abuse from online trolls, who claimed her son had been ‘sexualized’.
In the latest John Lewis Insurance advert, nine-year-old Reggie Parker played a young boy dancing around the house in his mother’s makeup and clothes.
While the advert appeared jolly, with Parker dancing around the house to Stevie Nicks’ Edge of Seventeen, not everyone had a positive reaction to it, taking their outrage out online and towards the young actor’s family.
However, Reggie’s mum, Sam, has since spoken out about the trolling.
Some accused John Lewis of trying to push a trans agenda, while others called out the messiness of the boy and the self-entitlement he arguably showed by thinking it was okay to ‘trash’ the house as promoting themes of toxic masculinity.
Another user even accused the advert of not only being sexist, but also having sexualised Reggie, which echoed the 400 complaints the company received. However, Sam has since called out the trolls, accusing them, rather than John Lewis, of being the ones to sexualise her son.
Sam told the MailOnline how ‘shocked’ she was that the advert had caused such controversy, calling the responses to it ‘laughable’. ‘How can anyone be so upset and offended over something fun and innocent?’ she said.
Sam said some of the comments were ‘ridiculous’, by ‘saying his ‘behaviour’ is destructive and spoilt’. ‘He is acting in an advert for home insurance,’ she commented.
But what disgusts me are complaints saying the advert is sexualising Reggie, with lipstick and ‘provocative’ dance moves.
If you see something sexual in an advert with a young boy – you have a problem.
Sam also said the family have received abusive comments in relation to the money Reggie made from the advert, suggesting she forced him to do it. ‘I haven’t and never will make money from my children – or any opportunities they choose to do,’ she said.
Sam explained Reggie ‘knew what the advert involved’ and was ‘really excited’ to act in it. ‘The money will be put into his own account. He will be allowed to spend a small amount because he worked very hard but the rest he will save for when he is older,’ she said.
As well as being trolled for his apparent ‘sexualisation’, Sam said trolls even commented ‘a boy should be playing football’.
‘He is a goal keeper, he gets muddy and he is always in the garden or playing Fifa – he also loves dressing up and has been street dancing since he was four and that’s ok,’ she said.
Reggie himself also commented on the reaction to the advert, saying, ‘I’m not transgender, but even if I was, what would it matter?’.
It’s just a boy dressing up and having fun. It’s over the top as it’s supposed to be funny. Even if I was transgender or gay it doesn’t make me who I am or change my performance.
‘I like the LGBTQ world, but actually it shouldn’t be a thing and everyone should live in one world. A person is a person,’ he said.
In a statement posted on Twitter, John Lewis and Partners said:
At John Lewis, we believe in children having fun and that’s why we chose this playful storyline for our latest advert. It’s designed to show the young actor getting carried away with his dramatic performance. He is not wilfully damaging his home and is unaware of the unintentional consequences of his actions.
The company concluded that if customers did have Accidental Damage Cover included in it’s Home Insurance, that it would cover ‘a range of major and minor home disasters – including unintentional breakages caused by children in the family’.
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CreditsThe Independent and 1 other
Mother of boy, nine, who dances in dress in 'woke' John Lewis TV advert says family has been target of online abuse after retailer was accused of 'sexism and gender ideology' and hit with nearly 400 complaints