The advert plays on the brand’s 30-year tagline “The Best A Man Can Get”, asking instead: “Is this the best a man can get?” in a bid to tackle sexism.
However, the campaign which features news clips of reporting on the #MeToo movement as well as sexism in boardrooms, and violence between boys, has prompted an angry backlash, in part, by TV contrarian Piers Morgan.
The Good Morning Britain presenter tweeted: “I've used Gillette razors my entire adult life but this absurd virtue-signalling PC guff may drive me away to a company less eager to fuel the current pathetic global assault on masculinity.
“Let boys be damn boys. Let men be damn men.”
Morgan, continued to berate the progressive ad on live TV where he claimed it suggested all men were “evil”.
“What Gillette is now saying, everything we told you to be, men, for the last 30 years is evil,” he fumed.
“Now you’re all evil people, you’re all toxic with your masculinity.”
The 53-year-old’s rant ended with him labelling the ad as “repulsive” and telling Gillette to “shut up”.
“If we did this to women, if I did a commercial tomorrow that showed the worst of women, all hell would break loose…” he said.
I've used @Gillette razors my entire adult life but this absurd virtue-signalling PC guff may drive me away to a company less eager to fuel the current pathetic global assault on masculinity.
Let boys be damn boys.
Let men be damn men.— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan)January 14, 2019
“I think it’s repulsive…the implication we all have something to apologise for? Shut up, Gillette.”
The advert has also enraged many men’s rights activists who have interpreted it as anti men.
Among the objections circling on social media are that the video is “emasculating”, “virtue-signalling” and that it implies most men are harassers.
Spare me your virtue signalling. I am NOT part of the problem. That ad IS offensive because the underlying message is that ALL men behave like this. WRONG!!
I & many others don't. Its caving in to the PC mentality that all men are at fault I object to. #Gillette— Ronnie W (@Ekbalco)January 15, 2019
“What a f***ing emasculating, humiliating ad. Talk about being bullied...most offensive thing I've seen in a long time,” one person wrote.
Another added: “Spare me your virtue signalling. I am NOT part of the problem. That ad IS offensive because the underlying message is that ALL men behave like this. WRONG!!”
The comments which insist that not all men are harassers call to mind the viral hashtag #YesAllWomen, which seeks to highlight that sexual harassment is a problem that all women encounter, whether or not all men are responsible for it, and encourages people to realise that sexism is not an isolated problem.
The New American also attacked the advertisement saying it “reflects many false suppositions”, adding that: “Men are the wilder sex, which accounts for their dangerousness – but also their dynamism.”
Released on Sunday, the film’s YouTube page has already had 252,000 dislikes and 36,000 likes.
While some reactions see the advert as jumping on the bandwagon to sell razors, others have praised the intention of the advert. Responses to comments that the campaign is 'emasculating' have argued that these negative comments only serve to show just how necessary its campaign against toxic masculinity is.
“Any man who thinks the Gillette #MeToo ad is emasculating is proving the point,” one person tweeted.
A recent report from the American Psychological Association (APA) argued that men were being damaged by what has been labelled toxic masculinity.
Developed by several experts between 2005-2018, its guidelines defined traditional masculinity as “a particular constellation of standards . . . including anti-femininity, achievement, eschewal of the appearance of weakness, and adventure, risk, and violence”.
The APA said this was linked to higher rates of suicide, drug abuse and violence.