This might be the most racist commercial any company has ever produced.
A more than two-minute video produced by Procter & Gamble, the company that manufactures Cascade, Febreze, Mr. Clean, Tide, Swiffer, Downy and a plethora of products, shows various scenes of black parents talking with their children about racism.
The ad, titled “The Talk,” shows scenes of black parents, spanning generations, telling their kids about how the system is stacked against them, how racist white people are and teaching them to fear the police.
“That is not a compliment,” the mother said. “You are beautiful, period. OK?”
In the next scene a mother talks to her son, presumably about the N word, a word uttered by more black musicians than white people these days.
“It’s an ugly nasty word and you are gonna hear it. Nothing I can do about that,” she said.
A subsequent scene shows a mother during a bygone era telling her daughter headed to camp that she can do anything “they” can do.
“The difference is you gotta work twice as hard and be twice as smart,” she said.
In another scene a mother from current times tells her daughter what to do “when you get pulled over,” as if it is guaranteed to happen.
When the daughter explains that she is a good driver, the mother reinforces negative stereotypes of police officers by telling her “This is not about you getting a ticket. This is about you not coming home.”
The ad is part of Procter & Gamble’s “My Black Is Beautiful” campaign for which it promoted the hashtag “#TalkAboutBias” on social media.
“These real-life conversations about conscious and unconscious bias are too common in homes across the country and weigh heavily on parents and children of many different backgrounds. We take seriously the opportunity to spark dialogue on what we all can do to put an end to the harmful effects of bias, and motivate true change,” the company’s director of global company communications Damon Jones said in a statement.
If the goal was to get social media to talk about this ad then it succeeded, but not entirely in the way the company wanted.
Black conservative Anthony Brian Logan called the ad “overly dramatic” and pointed out that the ad serves a second purpose of devaluing the need for a “nuclear family” as only one scene showed a father present.
Logan said the ad is unrealistic and noted that he never had a talk like that with any member of his family.
“The only kind of talk I got was ‘you need to do right. You need to do the best things you got to be doing,’” he said. “It was all about personal accountability, personal responsibility. It was not about ‘white people have this, white people have that.’”
“This whole commercial from Procter & Gamble – is nothing more than a marketing ploy to try to get black women on the Internet — to buy their products,” he said. “It’s a marketing campaign to get people to come purchase things. It’s nothing else. It’s not some kind of PSA. It’s not an altruistic thing. It’s all about money and that’s it.”