Gillette Facing Backlash Over Masculinity Commercial

Gillette Facing Backlash Over Masculinity Commercial

Now, to mark the switch to its new "The Best Men Can Be" tagline, the shaving-equipment operation has released a lengthy ad that tackles issues around toxic masculinity-bullying, sexual harassment, sexist media, and the boardroom diminishment of women-head-on.

The 108-second version of the advertisement, titled We Believe: The Best Men Can Be, went straight to YouTube's trending list and amassed nearly 300,000 dislikes inside two days.

While some angry men (and women) are ranting online about how the ad promotes misandry, or discrimination against men, a Twitter user shed some light on what the video is really about.

The video, which has been viewed over five million times on YouTube, has drawn both praise and ire from those on the internet.

However, the ad's message was met with backlash from some, with claims it was too political and painted all men as bullies or sexual harassers. But some is not enough.

What happens when you produce a commercial about treating women with respect and holding other men accountable for bad behaviour?

And the fact that the message has provoked a boycott instead of reflection underlines both how hard -and how necessary - the task of challenging gender norms is.

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Brooklyn Nine-Nine star Melissa Fumero was among those who enjoyed the ad, tweeting, "This ad is wonderful and made me cry". He told Esquire that he knew if he had thrown a punch the agent's way, "everyone in that room could make a phone call to every movie studio in the world: 'Well, you know about Terry, ' and they'd believe them".

But those who are criticising the Gillette ad are fighting an imaginary war. "Since then, it has been an aspirational statement, reflecting standards that many men strive to achieve", Gillette explains on its website. Simply, this is where we're at and we just have to keep doing better.

The mixed, and passionate, reactions are to be expected in this time of change amid the #MeToo movement, according to Christa Hodapp, Ph.D., director of the gender studies program at University of Massachusetts, Lowell.

He responded, "Let ME just be clear: you're a man-hating imbecile and this pathetic Gillette ad is a direct outcome of radical feminists like you driving a war against masculinity".

"That Gillette advert you think is good/ good marketing", tweeted Matt Kilcoyne, a communications head at British neoliberal think tank, the Adam Smith Institute, adding that the commercial "makes you talk about a brand that everyone had basically forgotten about".

"That's not toxic masculinity", Whoopi Goldberg interjected. Some men have said it was insulting, other said it was "feminist propaganda".

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