Shortly after Senator and GOP candidate Ted Cruz condemned the jailing of Kim Davis, Chief of Staff Paul Teller found a blu-ray edition of the popular sports anime Free! in Cruz’s briefcase. Teller later revealed that he had noticed Cruz’s sudden increase in interest in swimming months before the discovery. The discovery of an Amazon receipt directly addressed to Cruz confirmed Teller’s suspicions and it was only hours later that physical evidence was obtained.
“Cruz is a complete hypocrite. How could he support Davis’s denial of a marriage license to a gay couple when he himself appreciates yaoi?” one avid Free! fan under the name Makoto Tachibana posted to Ted Cruz’s Facebook page. Other anime fans were quick to rally around the comment and indignant responses flooded in one after the other. One post questioning whether Cruz would deny a marriage license to Haruka and Makoto received a direct response from Cruz. “See, this is what’s wrong with America today. People keep jumping to assumptions before they get the facts. No one is denying true love. No one is placing cruel and unusual restrictions on shippings,” he commented one minute after the original comment was published.
Another faction of the otaku population vehemently rejected the yaoi label. “Free! is, was, and never will be yaoi. It’s a slice-of-life drama with poignant moments about the bonding of friends. Free! is a profound show pulls at your heart strings,” another fan of the name Haruka Nanase posted.
However, the question of whether Cruz was morally excused from watching Free! in light of his recent comments on gay marriage remains unanswered. After explicitly stating that the U.S. judiciary system was broken, Cruz will need to find a satisfying answer to put now-doubtful Republicans at ease.
Currently, Cruz’s campaign staff have narrowed down their solution to one potentially public-appeasing answer. After concluding that Free!’s animation quality did indeed qualify under the Shirobako test, communications consultant Jason Miller deemed the artistic idealism and physique of the character designs an acceptable excuse for Cruz’s guilty pleasure.
Ted Cruz does not own a copy of Free! – Eternal Summer.