For the second year in a row, liquor brand White Castle Whisky is deviating from using someone assigned female at birth for its “calendar girl” with 2020 White Castle Whisky “gurl” TikTok personality Sassa Gurl.
The brand, which prides itself for offering “the only affordable Philippine whisky in the market”, used to have risqué, even problematic, ads.
But in 2021, it placed chef and YouTube personality Ryan Morales Reyes (Ninong Ry) on its calendar. The move – according to the company – is to highlight someone who “prepares delicacies during drinking sessions”.
But while the move to make Sassa Gurl the “calendar gurl” may be considered progressive, particularly for a company eyeing to use sexual imagery to sell its products, White Castle Whisky’s move does not come without criticism.
On one hand, it fails to even tackle the issue of alcoholism, which is a big issue in the LGBTQIA community. In the US, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that LGB adults are “more likely to engage in casual, binge, and heavy alcohol use than their heterosexual counterparts.” In fact, 44.6% of LGB individuals aged from 18 and 28 reported binge drinking (consuming five or more drinks in one day) at least once in the past month. Another 10.2% reported heavy alcohol use, here defined as binge drinking of at least five times in the past month.
On the other hand, White Castle Whisky itself reverted to one of the stereotypical roles of LGBTQIA people – e.g. as “sponsors” of drinking sessions. In its Facebook post, White Castle Whisky wrote: “Ngayong 2022, ang calendar model namin, ang laging nagpapainom tuwing may inuman.”