Razor Burn

Gillette releases new advertisement that stirs up controversy.

Screen capture of Gillette’s commercial, photo courtesy of theconversation.com

Screen capture of Gillette’s commercial, photo courtesy of theconversation.com

Payton Runyon, Staff Writer

On January 13, 2019, Gillette released their newest commercial in which they take on some controversial and prominent topics in today’s culture.  The commercial takes aim on the ideas of ¨Toxic Masculinity”, Sexual Harassment, as well as the ¨Me Too¨ movement.

The commercial begins by reimagining Gillette’s popular slogan, ¨The best a man can get¨ by asking the audience the question, “Is this the best a man can get?” 

The video goes on to explain how men have been misleading society for years by “making excuses” and “laughing” off such accusations as sexual harassment and bullying. They then proceed to explain how things “Finally changed” by showing newscasters reporting on a person charged with sexual assault and then showing different shots of men looking concerned. They close the video by seemingly attempting to ‘encourage’ men by showing different examples of men ‘doing the right thing’, such as a father breaking up his young son and another child wrestling, and a man stopping another man from attempting to talk to a female walking down the street. The video ends with the quote “ It’s only by challenging ourselves to do more that we can get closer to our best”.

The controversy in this video is not so much the issue as the examples shown. The idea that men as a whole need to be more respectful is undermined by the constant examples of things that many would not consider sexual assault or even bullying, One example of this is the way Gillette handles their bullying approach. In the commercial it shows a group of men in a backyard having a cookout. It then shows two kids wrestling in the grass. One of the men around them (Presumably one of the children’s fathers) then steps in to stop the boys and then tells the boy that is “Not how we treat people”, However the boys were very clearly just playing both smiling and laughing while lightly grappling with each other.

Many men are upset with the commercial believing that it is trying to incriminate all men by painting the picture that all men behave in inappropriate and aggressive manners. According to Youtube.com the video has received 1.3 million dislikes as well as bringing in over 27 million views.

Ironically, Gillette’s attempt of bettering society may have left them in the spotlight to cause more controversy within the media.