Razor burn: Gillette ad about ‘toxic masculinity’ stirs online uproar

Posted: Updated:
MORRISTOWN -

A Gillette ad for men invoking the #MeToo movement is sparking intense online backlash, with accusations that it talks down to men and groups calling for a boycott. But Gillette says it doesn't mind sparking a discussion.

Since it debuted Monday, the Internet-only ad has garnered nearly 19 million views on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter - a level of buzz that any brand would covet.

The two-minute ad from Procter & Gamble's razor brand shows men and boys engaging in bullying and sexual harassment, and encourages men to "say the right thing" and "act the right way."

Taking on bullying, sexual harassment and toxic masculinity is a big task for a razor brand. The commercial left New Jersey residents with a mixture of opinions.

"The commercial I thought was trying too hard,” says Robert Nelson of Morris Plains. “It just felt like a Super Bowl commercial trying to get attention."

“Something more should be added to it because people are not actually doing the right thing,” says Meggie Odengo of Morristown.

The manager of the High End Barbershop in Morristown says that he supports any positive movement in the razor blade industry. Manager “JC” says that the male mentality on everything from attitude to appearance is changing.

"This day and age I feel like more men are doing that. They're starting to come out and be like, ‘You know what, I've got to take care of myself,” he says.

Some are calling for a boycott on Gillette because of the commercial. The outcry echoes other attempts by major advertisers like Pepsi and Nike to take on social issues.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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