Last week, two big Hong Kong corporations shot themselves in the foot. One was the Mass Transit Railway Corporation. The other was the Airport Authority. To shoot yourself in the foot means to do something stupid that causes you a lot of trouble. Both the MTR and Airport Authority are Hong Kong’s biggest transport companies. The government owns the Airport Authority and about 70 percent of the MTR. They shot themselves in the foot by banning a Cathay Pacific advertisement at the airport and MTR stations because it showed two gay men holding hands and strolling (walking in a relaxed way) along a beach.
When the ban caused an uproar (angry protest) within the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community, the MTR tried to pass the buck. To pass the buck means to blame someone else or make someone else take the responsibility for something you should handle. The MTR passed the buck to an outside company which handles advertising bookings for the MTR. This is ridiculous because the outside company takes orders from the MTR. The Airport Authority kept silent during the uproar. After several days of uproar, the MTR and Airport Authority agreed to allow the gay ad. The ad is part of Cathay’s rebranding campaign called Move Beyond.
The rebranding is intended to show that Cathay cares about all its customers, including the LGBT community. I attended the cocktail reception for the rebranding and chatted with Cathay’s CEO Rupert Hogg. This was before the uproar caused by the ban. He talked proudly about moving Cathay beyond the present to the future. One of the rebranding ads is a video with a brief scene showing two women kissing. It looked like they were getting married but this did not cause any controversy. Why are two women kissing more acceptable than two gay men holding hands? Two weeks ago, Taiwan became the first place in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage but Hong Kong’s MTR and Airport Authority tried to ban an ad showing a gay couple. They should be ashamed of themselves.
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上星期，兩大香港公司搬了石頭砸自己的腳（shot themselves in the foot），一個是港鐵公司，另一個則是機場管理局。To shoot yourself in the foot意即去做一些愚蠢的事而自招麻煩。港鐵和機管區都是香港最大型的交通運輸公司。政府全資擁有機管局，亦持有港鐵70%的股份。他們搬石頭砸自己腳（shot themselves in the foot），是源於他們在機場和港鐵站禁止刊登一個國泰航空的廣告，因廣告上展示了兩位男同性戀者手牽手在沙灘上漫步（strolling）。
當廣告被禁引來了LGBT（女同性戀者、男同性戀者、雙性戀者及跨性別者）群體的騷動（uproar）時，港鐵嘗試 pass the buck。To pass the buck即是去推卸責任，諉過於人。港鐵將責任推卸給（passed the buck）那為港鐵處理廣告申請的外判公司。這是荒謬的，因為外判公司也只是接收港鐵的指令。機管局則在一片鼓譟（uproar）中保持沉默。幾天的騷動（uproar）過後，港鐵和機管局終於同意放行這個同性戀的廣告。這個廣告實質是國泰的一個名為「志在飛躍」的重塑品牌運動。
Michael Chugani 褚簡寧