Ancestry.com has apologized for an ad critics claim romanticizes the history of slavery.
The ad, which has since been pulled from YouTube by the genealogy testing service, shows a black woman and white man meeting during what appears to be the 1800s.
"Abigail, we can escape to the North," said the man to the woman. "There is a place we can be together, across the border. Will you leave with me?"
The ad then features the tagline "without you, the story stops here."
CNN reports the ad first appeared on YouTube April 2, but didn't catch the attention of social media until Thursday.
Critics blasted the commercial for how it attempts to depict slavery. "Why do white people insist on romanticizing my Black female ancestors experiences with white men during slavery?," said Bishop Talbert Swan in a post on Twitter. "They were raped, abused, treated like animals, beaten, and murdered by white men. Stop with the revisions."
Clint Smith, an author, teacher and doctoral candidate at Harvard University, called the ad an "irresponsible, ahistorical depiction of the relationship between white men & black women during the period of chattel slavery."
nobody:— Clint Smith (@ClintSmithIII) April 18, 2019
ancestry dot com: how can we overly romanticize & create an irresponsible, ahistorical depiction of the relationship between white men & black women during the period of chattel slavery that completely disregards its power dynamics & the trauma of sexual exploitation? https://t.co/s5BqnoSg9x
What the hell is this @Ancestry?— Bishop Talbert Swan (@TalbertSwan) April 18, 2019
Why do white people insist on romanticizing my Black female ancestors experiences with white men during slavery?
They were raped, abused, treated like animals, beaten, and murdered by white men. Stop with the revisions.pic.twitter.com/cDEWdkzJPm
One of about 1,000 awful things about this commercial is it ignores the fact that for black Americans - myself included - and for others in the diaspora, DNA and documentary ancestry information is as painful and traumatic as it is illuminating. These are not love stories. https://t.co/tuTpHwmnGk— Kimberly Atkins (@KimberlyEAtkins) April 18, 2019
In a statement, Ancestry.com said the ad has been removed from YouTube and is in the process of pulling it from television.
"Ancestry is committed to telling important stories from history. This ad was intended to represent one of those stories," said the company in a statement. "We very much appreciate the feedback we have received and apologize for any offense that the ad may have caused."
Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @brettmolina23.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Ancestry.com ad ‘romanticizing’ slavery removed, company apologizes