By James Barrett | 22 August 2019
THE DAILY WIRE — Just a few weeks after Procter & Gamble reported a sobering $8 billion writedown, Gillette has officially called off its war on “toxic masculinity.” The embattled brand has announced that it is now “shifting the spotlight from social issues to local heroes.”
While the brand is admitting that it’s reversing course on the social issues messaging, Gillette is presenting its new focus as simply a return to what it’s always done. “We will continue to represent men at their best,” Gillette said in a statement reported by News Corp Australia. Instead of the “social issues” focus, the brand will begin to highlight positive portrayals of “heroic” masculinity, as seen in its new ad starring Ben Ziekenheiner, an Australian firefighter and personal trainer.
Gillette’s “toxic masculinity” mess began in January when the brand released an ad accusing men of “excusing bad behavior” and portraying traditional masculinity in an entirely negative and stereotypical light.
“‘Boys will be boys’? Isn’t it time we stopped excusing bad behavior? Re-think and take action by joining us at http://TheBestMenCanBe.org,” the brand tweeted in mid-January. The ad features men engaged in all kinds of bad behavior, including bullying, catcalling and groping women, and violence — while a line of men behind grills declare the dismissive mantra “Boys will be boys” in one obstinate voice.
The ad presents the #MeToo movement as the moment when the alleged “toxic masculinity” culture “finally changed.” “There will be no going back because we — we believe in the best in men,” the narrator states. “To say the right thing, to act the right way. Some already are — in ways big and small. But some is not enough because the boys watching today will become the men of tomorrow.” […]