With the LGBT community very active on social media and present on many platforms, more and more stars are keen to lure this group towards them. The newest marketing strategy to do so is called ‘Queerbaiting’ and means that a popstar or television show tries to portray itself as a member of the LGBT community without actually crossing the line, as doing so could mean it loses fans on the other, more conservative side.
However, many fans are left confused. Recent examples include the hit television series Sherlock Holmes or the recent semi bisexual ‘outings’ of pop singer Ariana Grande.
The pint sized singer has teamed up with her friend Victoria Monét for ‘Monopoly’ in which she sings about liking both ‘women and men.’
The lyric has caught the attention of many on social media and according to some, should simply be seen as a clever marketing ploy by Grande’s team to reach a bigger audience.
“Queerbaiting isn’t new but it’s implications are as powerful as ever,” said Professor Julia Himberg, who teaches film and media studies at Arizona State University.
However in Grande’s case, whose marketing team is indeed playing into all the latest trends, the fact that she doesn’t follow up on those insinuations is starting to feel as ‘cheap’ to the LGBT community.
“Our identities have been used over and over again in popular culture to establish an edgy identity”, says Prof Himberg.
“It’s offensive when someone seems to be playing with it. There’s this sense of – don’t tease us, don’t use us. It can easily feel like a cheap marketing tool.”
Picture credit – Youtube Screenshot Ariana Grande