'Hacks' star Megan Stalter is back with her hilarious 'Hi Gay' videos poking fun at corporate Pride campaigns
Who wants a "sassy cinnamon" candle from the Butter Shop?!
If you watch the comedy series “Hacks” on HBO, you probably know Megan Stalter as Kayla, the scene stealing, wackadoodle agent assistant with more fashion sense than common sense. But Stalter was making people laugh long before her television debut.
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The comedian is a well-known internet treasure for her hilarious “Hi Gay” video series, where she pokes fun at the sometimes tone-deaf attempts certain corporations make to appear more accepting or supportive of the LGBTQIA+ community … without practicing true allyship.
In June 2021, Stalter became a bona fide meme by playing a stiff-smiled employee of the (fake) Butter Shop "sashaying away with deals" for Pride Month for those that can “prove they’re queer.” The delightfully cringey video, which amassed 1.4 million views, is below:
The Butter Shop is back again for Pride Month 2022 and so too are the southern saleswoman’s failed attempts at courting “the gays.”
"Hi Gay! Happy Pride Month! We're back at the Butter Shop, queens, and we go goo-goo, ga-ga for gay," Stalter poorly reads from a script offscreen. She also assures audiences that “we're more lesbian than ever. We love lesbian, you queer thang."
Corporations this month: pic.twitter.com/BLfCNqo7e5— Meg Stalter (@megstalter) June 1, 2022
Ceremoniously holding butter like a Statue of Liberty knockoff is a brilliant touch, I must say.
Stalter announces that the Butter Shop has brand new flavors to “slay the house down.” Personally, I’d go for the "sassy cinnamon.” But "hickory hickey from a guy," and "eat me out, amber, cheddar” are also options.
She then spews out “Hunky dory more like honky whore-y mama werk shake your thang sissy twerk doctor girl yassify that hoe,” before donning some rainbow-colored sunglasses.
This is a perfect example of how brands suddenly use rainbow colors or imagery to advertise rather than advocate, otherwise known as rainbow-washing. One of the more damaging aspects of rainbow-washing is that it often misleads people into thinking that they are helping to empower a marginalized community, when in actuality they are only helping corporations profit.
The underlying motto, as Stalter puts it, is “we think that gay people are okay. At least for the next 30 days.”
Of course, there are plenty of companies that authentically participate in allyship. The Urban List recommends checking to see if a company’s support is both measurable (having outcomes) and year-round, as well as if it addresses community issues, speaks up to impact anti-LGBTQI+ policy and legislation, and offers paid opportunities to the company's queer employees. That’s a great place to start.
Stalter has stumbled on her own brand of advocacy through her funny videos. The actress—who has been open about expressing her own bisexual identity as a previously avid churchgoer from the Midwest—understands the importance of normalizing and celebrating queer joy.
In an interview with The Advocate, she shared, “I light up when I see a gay character or a queer character. We’re so starved for it. Even though [representation] is evolving, and there is a lot more now than when I was growing up, there are some nights when I’m googling gay movies, just dying to see something where I feel represented. ”
Stalter added, “One of my favorite things about ‘Hacks’ is that there are all these queer characters and it’s just who they are. It’s not so focused on them coming out. It’s important for us to have those stories of coming out, and sad stories or triumphant stories. But it’s so important to have that representation of just, ‘oh, yeah, that’s one thing about me, but it’s not everything about me.’”
It doesn’t look like Stalter will be short of gay comedy anytime soon. The newly dubbed “Mariah Carey of Pride Month” is on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. It’s great viewing … whether you’re a “lipstick lesbian or a butch.”