Gillette's #MeToo ad challenging toxic masculinity makes men mad

  • 16/01/2019

Gillette's latest ad aims to challenge toxic masculinity, but it's being labelled the latest attack in a "war against men" by some.

The shaving brand's classic slogan of "The best a man can get" has been subverted in the new advertising campaign to "The best a man can be".

Gillette says on its website it was time brands acknowledged the role they played in influencing culture.

"As a company that encourages men to be their best, we have a responsibility to make sure we are promoting positive, attainable, inclusive and healthy versions of what it means to be a man," it said.

While many social media users have celebrated and praised the Gillette ad, it's triggered furious reactions from some men.

Outspoken Donald Trump supporting actor James Woods says the company is "jumping on the 'men are horrible' campaign".

UK television personality Piers Morgan has attacked the ad in a series of tweets as well as an opinion piece in tabloid the Daily Mail.

"With their pathetic, man-hating ad, Gillette have just their own throat," the 53-year-old rages.

Writing emotionally, Morgan claims to have believed in Gillette for decades and always used their products - but that's all ended with the new ad.

"Gone is the celebration of men. In its place is an ugly, vindictive two-minute homage to everything that's bad about men and masculinity."

Some men have taken to social media with photos and videos of them throwing out Gillette products in protest.

Among those defending the ad on Twitter is Bernice King, daughter of the late civil rights icon Martin Luther King, who says: "This commercial isn't anti-male. It's pro-humanity."

Australian writer Andrew P Street said backlash to the ad is a clear illustration of why it was released.

"The comments under the @Gillette toxic masculinity ad is a living document of how desperately society needs things like the Gillette toxic masculinity ad," he tweeted.

"Seriously, if your masculinity is THAT threatened by an ad that says we should be nicer, then you're doing masculinity wrong."

Others have accused Gillette of not genuinely caring about toxic masculinity, but using the issue to generate discussion and make headlines - which it most certainly has.

Gillette has also said it will donate US$1 million per year for the next three years to non-profit organisations that aim to help men become role models for the next generation, by inspiring respect and accountability.