Gillette faces backlash over 'anti-male' advert calling out toxic masculinity

Francesca Specter
Yahoo Style UK deputy editor

Gillette is being criticised on Twitter for an advert tackling toxic masculinity.

The short film, circulated on YouTube yesterday, asks: “Is this the best a man can get?” – a play on the brand’s 30-year-old tagline, “The best a man can be”.

Gillette are being criticised on Twitter for their latest advertising campaign. [Photo: Gillette]

It features male characters in a variety of scenarios including harassing women – at work and in the street – fighting and playground bullying.

Since its release, it has racked up 243,000 ‘dislikes’ on the video-sharing platform, but only 33,000 ‘likes’.

Over on Twitter, users are calling out the brand for the way it portrays men and its #MeToo rebrand.

Some – including broadcaster Piers Morgan and comedian Ricky Gervais – suggested it was inappropriate for a shaving company to be making a politically-charged message.

There is even a call to boycott Gillette doing the rounds.

Others argued the advert had an overall positive message, and suggested men should be more open to self-criticism rather than reacting strongly.

While the reaction to the Gillette advert is clearly mixed, Gary Coombe – the president of Proctor & Gamble, the company that owns Gillette – has defended the campaign.

He told the BBC: “”By holding each other accountable, eliminating excuses for bad behaviour, and supporting a new generation working toward their personal ‘best,’ we can help create positive change that will matter for years to come.

“”We knew that joining the dialogue on ‘Modern Manhood’ would mean changing how we think about and portray men at every turn.

“Effective immediately, Gillette will review all public-facing content against a set of defined standards meant to ensure we fully reflect the ideals of Respect, Accountability and Role Modelling in the ads we run, the images we publish to social media, the words we choose, and more.

“For us, the decision to publicly assert our beliefs while celebrating men who are doing things right was an easy choice that makes a difference.”

The company is yet to respond to Yahoo UK‘s request for comment.

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