Brands pull ads from TV show Impastor after complaints about ‘gay priest’

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Restaurant chain IHOP has pulled advertising from a TV series about a fake gay priest after a campaign by anti-LGBT Christians.

The adult TV show Impastor, which launched on US network TV Land last year, features a fugitive gambling addict goes into hiding by taking the identity of a town’s new gay priest, struggling to adapt to his new life.

The show attracted complaints from puritanical right-wing pressure group One Million Moms, renowned for its ridiculous string of anti-LGBT boycotts.

1MM began an organised complaints campaign against the TV show’s advertisers, complaining that “the main character, posing as a gay preacher, recently hired sight unseen by a church that was aware of his lifestyle choice”, while also taking exception to “sex, theft, murder, drug use, and foul language.”

A pre-written email from the group sent to the show’s advertisers says: “This show is another attempt to distort the truth about Christianity. Your network is making a mockery of Christian pastors. Your show completely misrepresents the characteristics of pastors and is based on lies about Christianity.

“As a Christian, I feel you are attacking my faith. This type of Bible-bashing programming is insulting and completely unacceptable. People of faith will not tolerate pastors being ridiculed.”

Following the campaign, two brands have pulled advertising from the show.

Tech brand VTech said: “We recently became aware of an error in our advertising programming which caused our product commercial to air during a television show that does not fit in with our family-friendly brand positioning.

“This unfortunate error has been corrected, and we appreciate those who have brought this to our attention.”

IHOP added: “We are no longer advertising on Impastor. Thank you for sharing your concern and we hope you & your family dine at IHOP in the near future.”

Despite their name, One Million Moms are an offshoot of the male-dominated evangelical American Family Association. They have just 3500 mostly-male Twitter followers.