An attempt by the Danish parliament to get younger citizens to vote in the upcoming European Parliament elections went awry after the cartoon ad it put out was deemed violent and sexist.
“Many, whose views I deeply respect, found the EU Information Centre’s cartoon to be much more damaging and offensive than it was intended to be and felt it talked down to young people,” parliament chairman Mogens Lykketoft told the Danish tabloid paper Ekstra Bladet.
The 90-second animated ad features Voteman, a muscleman who decapitates, beats up, and interrupts a couple having sex so he can chuck them into the voting booth. At one point, he’s seen in bed with five women receiving a blowjob.
It’s kind of like if South Park’s take on Diddy’s “Vote or Die” campaign was an actual campaign ad.
The Danish parliament, Folketinget, initially stood by the ad and felt that Voteman was supposed to spark interest among young people when it came to voting in the European parliament elections. Critics didn’t understand why the ad needed to use porn and violence against women to make people go out and vote.
Ultimately, the backlash among viewers made the parliament pull the ad.
“I acknowledge that in the future Folketinget as an institution has to show more caution in terms of what we put our names to,” Lykketoft said.