Super Bowl 2019: Vegans have a beef with Hyundai over ad that makes fun of vegan dinner parties


Cleve R Wootson Jr., Stuff (New Zealand) 

Feb 05 2019


The metaphor at the centre of Hyundai's Super Bowl commercial was simple: An oversize elevator operated by a wisecracking Jason Bateman took passengers up to pleasurable experiences and down to life events everyone wants to avoid.


"OK, six-hour flight, middle seat," Bateman says as the car opens onto a cramped plane full of obnoxious passengers guffawing at video screens or sneezing loudly into tissues. "Who's got vitamin C?"


At another point, the doors open onto a courtroom scene as a grizzled defendant stands up, glares at the man ushered off the elevator and growls.


"This stop: Jury duty," Bateman declares. "Remember, innocent until proven... well, he did it, right? We all agree he did it?"


But one stop in the otherwise innocuous elevator bit has ruffled some feathers, or at least some 100 per cent recycled polyester down equivalents.


"Vegan dinner party," Bateman says as the doors ding open. "Is that even a thing?"


"We're having beetloaf - Sergio's specialty," says the smiling host as she approaches her guests while extending a purple gelatinous concoction.


Sergio takes a bow while one of the dinner guests retches.


Then the ad pivots to the conceit of the commercial: The heavenly experience of purchasing a Hyundai.


But vegans felt personally attacked. Why should their decision to live a planet-friendly, animal-cruelty-free lifestyle be comparable to a colonoscopy or a root canal or a teenager getting "the talk" and hearing about how "even Grandma's body changed".


People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the animal rights organisation more commonly known as PETA, chided the car company on Twitter...