In Brief

Why men’s rights activists are boycotting Gillette

Piers Morgan criticises razor brand’s #MeToo advert as ‘virtue-signalling PC guff’

Razor brand Gillette has triggered global debate with a new advert that addresses issues including sexual harassment and bullying.

The ad was uploaded to YouTube on Monday under the title “We Believe” and features clips of news reports on the Me Too movement, alongside snippets showing sexism in films and violence between boys.

The voiceover says: “We can’t hide from it. It has been going on far too long. We can’t laugh it off, making the same old excuses.” In direct reference to the Me Too movement, the ad continues: “Something has finally changed.”

CNN says that viewers then see “scenes of men breaking up fights, standing up for people, and being attentive fathers”, before the narrator closes with the line, “Bullying, the Me Too movement against sexual harassment, toxic masculinity, is this the best a man can get?” - a play on the brand’s traditional slogan.

The advert has prompted a furious backlash from men’s rights activists and right-wing commentators, with many accusing the brand of “virtue-signalling”, a term that refers to moral posturing.

Far-right magazine The New American attacked Gillette’s message, saying it “reflects many false suppositions”. The mag adds: “Men are the wilder sex, which accounts for their dangerousness – but also their dynamism.”

Good Morning Britain presenter Piers Morgan has also been critical, tweeting: “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.”

Coronation Street actress Nicola Thorp challenged Morgan, saying the video “focuses on changing the behaviour of men who have engaged in sexual assault, harassment, discrimination and violence”.

Morgan responded by claiming that “this pathetic Gillette ad is a direct consequence of radical feminists like you driving a war against masculinity”.

The Guardian notes that some critics “took issue with the advertisement because it was directed by a woman” - Kim Gehrig, who was behind the 2015  “This Girl Can” campaign for Sport England, as well as Viva La Vulva, an ad for Swedish feminine hygiene brand Libresse.

Pankaj Bhalla, Gillette’s North America brand director, told CNN: “We expected debate. Actually a discussion is necessary. If we don’t discuss and don’t talk about it, I don’t think real change will happen.

“The ad is not about toxic masculinity. It is about men taking more action every day to set the best example for the next generation. This was intended to simply say that the enemy for all of us is inaction.”

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