TripAdvisor quotes LGBT+ hits in legal threat to Straight Pride organisers
TripAdvisor found a creative way of telling organisers of a Straight Pride Parade to remove their logo from their website.
The travel website has sent a cease-and-desist letter to self-described straight advocacy group Super Happy Fun America (SHFA) replete with references to songs popular with the LGBT+ community.
According to TripAdvisor, it was among a number of prominent companies being listed on the site as being in negotiation as a “potential sponsor” for its Straight Pride Parade, which is scheduled to take place in Boston in August.
But in a letter to the group, vice president Bradford Young said this assertion was “completely false” and, in the first a of a number of uses of song titles, added: “I’m Coming Out and saying this clearly: you are infringing upon TripAdvisor’s intellectual property rights.”
The letter, addressed to SHFA president John Hugo, went on to state: “We have become a well-known brand for our reviews of hotels, restaurants, experiences and even the occasional YMCA, but we weren’t Born This Way – we obtained that recognition through significant advertising and promotion since as early as 2000.
“As a result of the breadth of the services it provides and its widespread renown, TripAdvisor enjoys substantial rights in its mark and name.”
It added that the claims on the website “impinge upon our Freedom! to decide with what organisations we want to associate our brand” and continued: “Have A Little Respect and remove those statements. TripAdvisor and I Will Survive without being associated with your event.”
TripAdvisor joins a list of companies, including Netflix and ride-hailing app Lyft, distancing themselves from the parade.
In its own message to the group, Netflix said: “Our legal department is here, it’s queer, and it’s telling you to steer clear.”
The parade, which has been organised for August 31, is described by SHFA as an event to “celebrate the diverse history, culture, and contributions of the straight community”.
But is has faced criticism from some who believe the event is aimed at trolling the LGBT+ community.
Actor George Takei tweeted last month: “They’re planning a ‘straight pride’ parade in Boston, presumably to commemorate that historic moment when courageous heterosexual frat bros finally stood up to the gay cops who had been harassing and arresting them for decades.”
According to its website, SHFA “advocates on behalf of the straight community”, which is described by Mr Hugo as “an oppressed majority”.
SHFA has been approached for comment.