On 17 November 2016, web site Truthfeed published an article claiming that Celebrity Cruise Lines had released an ad attacking Trump supporters, saying that they were no longer welcome on its cruises. The site called upon its readers to boycott the company and linked to a video created by “MightyBuster Brown”:
In a stunningly rude and inappropriate ad, smug cruise line Celebrity snubs their snooty noses at Trump and his supporters.
We are calling on all Trump supporters to not only BOYCOTT Celebrity but let your voices be heard.
ANTI-TRUMP AD BY
60 Million Voters NOT WANTED?
— Buster Brown (@MightyBusterBro) November 16, 2016
While second half of the video displayed here does show a real advertisement from Celebrity Cruises, the text overlays at the start of the video stating that Trump supporters are not smart or liberal enough to enjoy Celebrity Cruises were not created by the company.
“MightyBuster Brown” made note of this on the video’s YouTube page:
PLEASE NOTE The first minute of this video is MY Sarcastic Interpretation of the intolerant anti-conservative message of the actual TV Ad. * THE ACTUAL Trump-Insulting Celebrity Cruise Ad plays exactly as it airs on TV beginning at the time code: 1:12 Through 1:40. THE ENDING: “A message to Celebrity Cruises from Trump and Trump Supporters” Answers the FALSE Premise of the TV AD which is a LIE.
The real advertisement (below) does not include Trump’s name, nor does it mention his supporters:
Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, president and chief executive officer of Celebrity Cruises, said in September 2016 that the ad was in response to the “rhetoric around the world,” and not specifically the Trump campaign. Lutoff-Perlo also wrote in a blog post on Medium.com that she was surprised that people saw the ad’s message (that travel and experiencing different cultures is a good thing) as a political statement:
A year ago, if you’d told me that encouraging people to travel the world was a “political statement,” I’d have been speechless. Exploring the world, encountering cultures, befriending people from other places — to me, that’s learning and growing. That’s life, that’s common sense. That’s the very best part of the business we’re in.
But what a year.
I’ll be thinking about that tonight, when my company debuts a new ad campaign, “Sail Beyond Borders,” after the Presidential debate. The ad shows you the beautiful world out there, and invites you aboard a Celebrity cruise to see it. Because that’s what travel ads do, right?
But the ads also address two topics that a year ago would have been utterly non-controversial: we don’t believe in building walls between people, and we don’t believe fear should hold anyone back from experiencing the world.
Political statements? I guess they are now. Even though they represent a view that I — and many others in the travel industry — have held for decades. We don’t divide, we connect; we don’t enclose, we expand. And the logic and the humanity of that approach is apparent to all of us at Celebrity Cruises every single day, because it enriches the lives of every single person involved in our business.