In a related tweet, the company even questions male behaviour: “Is not it time that we stop apologising for bad behavior?” Above all, the notion that “boys are just boys” is the focus of the creators of the video.
The tagline on YouTube where the controversial advertisement was released, reads: “Bullying. Harassment. Is this the best a man can get? It’s only by challenging ourselves to do more, that we can get closer to our best. Instead of excuses, we need to make a change.”
Part of the advert also features a man explaining what a woman in a meeting was trying to say.
Men are portrayed as aggressive and power-driven individuals, a breath away from the next sexual assault. Unsurprisingly, most reactions on the social media networks have been very negative. Gilette posted the ad on social media on Monday.
“Hey, Gillette, stay out of politics,” wrote American talk show host Joe Pags Pagliarulo. “Real men already stop other guys from acting badly. A razor company should want me to shave with your product. And, by the way I’m extremely masculine. And there’s nothing wrong with that.”
Zuhdi Jasser, who has regular guest appearances on various television channels in the US, asked the company via Twitter: “I dare you to market your new #TheBestMenCanBe campaign on your @GilletteArabia website and in Arabic? You’d already be doing that if you really cared about fighting misogyny.”
The company is facing a huge backlash, with 250 000 dislikes on YouTube, and only 49 000 likes – mostly from feminist-leaning women who do not shave. Comments below the ad include one user suggesting Gillette “fire your advertising team and your board members”, while another asks “if your target demographic is men, why create an advertisement with feminist propaganda portraying men as bad people?”.
Many critics – including British TV host Piers Morgan – also took to social media to say they would no longer be buying Gillette products because the brand “insulted their own user base”.
A user in the UK tweeted: “So we just started 2019, and already a company has started pushing sexism towards Men… @Gillette have now become a Leftist Bigot Company that insulted their own user base by calling them ‘Sexists'”.
Morgan said he would no longer be using the products. “I am not a bad person because I am male.”
Canadian conservative Ezra Levant said he had been using Gillette products for 30 years but would no longer be buying them.