Gillette under fire for calling out ‘toxic masculinity’ in new commercial

While many support the #MeToo ad, others are calling for a boycott of the razors

Gillette launched its “The Best a Man Can Be” tagline 30 years ago, and is acknowledging now that times have changed.

But, the company states on its website, “turn on the news today and it’s easy to believe that men are not at their best.”

So Gillette, a subsidiary of Proctor & Gamble, released a commercial that calls out bullying, sexual harassment and toxic masculinity.

» Gillette’s ad focuses on ‘toxic masculinity,’ #MeToo movement instead of shaving

» ‘Traditional masculinity’ officially deemed ‘harmful’ by American Psychological Association

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The ad challenges the “boys will be boys” excuse for male behavior and encourages men to set an example for their sons.

“(A)s 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,” reads the statement on Gillette’s website.

The ad was met with mixed reactions on social media, from support to outrage.


Some said they were insulted by the company’s stance on men.


"We expected debate — discussion is necessary. For every negative reaction we've seen many positive reactions, people calling the effort courageous, timely, smart, and much-needed," a spokesperson for Gillette told CNBC via email. "At the end of the day, sparking conversation is what matters. This gets people to pay attention to the topic and encourages them to consider taking action to make a difference."

The company said that, as part of the campaign, it will donate $1 million a year for the next three years to nonprofit organizations in the United States that inspire, educate and “help men of all ages achieve their personal “best” and become role models for the next generation.”

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