This video makes a strong statement about diversity and acceptance without using words.
True
Absolut

An old man walks into a bar, where he sees a young couple kissing.

He approaches them with an intimidating look on his face. Our hearts drop as we're led to think that this might not end well.


That's when something unexpected happens. Instead of confronting the couple, he starts kissing one of them. A third character starts kissing him, and on it goes as a lineup of colorful characters carry the kiss-train through city streets, into a cop car, and finally to a hotel pool.

More than just a make-out session, the short film has a strong message to convey about love, equality, and acceptance.

"Equal Love" was created as a way to communicate a vision: a world free from judgment, where gender, sexuality, and age are no longer the lines that divide us, but the notes that turn us into a symphony.

What you don't see in the video is the personal story that led each cast member to the project.

"I was cast through a street-casting, so it sort of took me by surprise," says Cairo, the actor in the first scene who kisses the old man. Cairo, a transgender man, had taken a yearlong break from acting to begin his transition.

"My biggest fear was that I wouldn't be able to work as an actor," Cairo says. "And I kind of proved myself wrong."

Everyone involved in the film knew right away they were stepping into something powerful.

Pete Mynch, another actor who appears in the film, was immediately excited by its celebration of expression and individuality.

"Expressing freedom as well as expressing yourself as an individual ... it's a good message, isn't it?" Mynch says. "This story is asking people, maybe in some way, to look at their own belief system."

Absolut Vodka deliberately hired diverse actors to make a statement about acceptance — one they've been making for years.

They began advertising directly to their LGBTQ customers in 1981, a time when being gay was heavily stigmatized and supporting the LGBTQ community might earn you more protest than praise.

In 1986, Absolut collaborated with openly gay artists Andy Warhol and Keith Haring to create art that supported LGBTQ causes. In 2003, they partnered with Gilbert Baker, creator of the Pride flag, to create the world’s largest pride flag that extended from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean.

"Equal Love" is the continuation of that work and its evolution into a celebration of even more kinds of diversity.

"All the characters are different," says Sid Ouared, another actor in the film. "You have the police officer, you have the grumpy old man. … There's someone representing all of us."

At a time when the world feels divided and brands have tried and failed to capitalize on healing that divide, Absolut seems to know what they're doing a little more than most.

The film's timing is no accident either. It's being released right after Pride Month.

"I think this advert is much more open-minded," Cairo says. "I’d spoken to the producer and director, and they seemed really up to date and really positive. I felt like they’d done their research."

"It will get people talking," Ouared says. "It will get people's attention, and it will spread a positive message and raise awareness to diversity."

"Equal Love" may not heal the world's divides, but it's still doing something pretty important.

It's portraying a world where kissing is an expression of the soul as much as the heart — a world where love is, quite simply, love.

"I think it’s so good to be a part of something that says — behind everything — it just doesn’t really matter about your gender or your sexuality. We’re just all equal and human," Cairo says. "It just makes me proud."

True
Back Market

Between the new normal that is working from home and e-learning for students of all ages, having functional electronic devices is extremely important. But that doesn't mean needing to run out and buy the latest and greatest model. In fact, this cycle of constantly upgrading our devices to keep up with the newest technology is an incredibly dangerous habit.

The amount of e-waste we produce each year is growing at an increasing rate, and the improper treatment and disposal of this waste is harmful to both human health and the planet.

So what's the solution? While no one expects you to stop purchasing new phones, laptops, and other devices, what you can do is consider where you're purchasing them from and how often in order to help improve the planet for future generations.

Keep Reading Show less
via Tom Ward / Instagram

Artist Tom Ward has used his incredible illustration techniques to give us some new perspective on modern life through popular Disney characters. "Disney characters are so iconic that I thought transporting them to our modern world could help us see it through new eyes," he told The Metro.

Tom says he wanted to bring to life "the times we live in and communicate topical issues in a relatable way."

In Ward's "Alt Disney" series, Prince Charming and Pinocchio have fallen victim to smart phone addiction. Ariel is living in a polluted ocean, and Simba and Baloo have been abused by humans.

Keep Reading Show less
True
Back Market

Between the new normal that is working from home and e-learning for students of all ages, having functional electronic devices is extremely important. But that doesn't mean needing to run out and buy the latest and greatest model. In fact, this cycle of constantly upgrading our devices to keep up with the newest technology is an incredibly dangerous habit.

The amount of e-waste we produce each year is growing at an increasing rate, and the improper treatment and disposal of this waste is harmful to both human health and the planet.

So what's the solution? While no one expects you to stop purchasing new phones, laptops, and other devices, what you can do is consider where you're purchasing them from and how often in order to help improve the planet for future generations.

Keep Reading Show less

With many schools going virtual, many daycare facilities being closed or limited, and millions of parents working from home during the pandemic, the balance working moms have always struggled to achieve has become even more challenging in 2020. Though there are more women in the workforce than ever, women still take on the lion's share of household and childcare duties. Moms also tend to bear the mental load of keeping track of all the little details that keep family life running smoothly, from noticing when kids are outgrowing their clothing to keeping track of doctor and dentist appointments to organizing kids' extracurricular activities.

It's a lot. And it's a lot more now that we're also dealing with the daily existential dread of a global pandemic, social unrest, political upheaval, and increasingly intense natural disasters.

That's why scientist Gretchen Goldman's refreshingly honest photo showing where and how she conducted a CNN interview is resonating with so many.

Keep Reading Show less

Schools often have to walk a fine line when it comes to parental complaints. Diverse backgrounds, beliefs, and preferences for what kids see and hear will always mean that schools can't please everyone all the time, so educators have to discern what's best for the whole, broad spectrum of kids in their care.

Sometimes, what's best is hard to discern. Sometimes it's absolutely not.

Such was the case this week when a parent at a St. Louis elementary school complained in a Facebook group about a book that was read to her 7-year-old. The parent wrote:

"Anyone else check out the read a loud book on Canvas for 2nd grade today? Ron's Big Mission was the book that was read out loud to my 7 year old. I caught this after she watched it bc I was working with my 3rd grader. I have called my daughters school. Parents, we have to preview what we are letting the kids see on there."

Keep Reading Show less