By Ben Thompson
It is an unspoken law of our times that if Piers Morgan gets angry about something, you can expect to hear it debated endlessly on television for the next two weeks.
After waging war against Gregg’s vegan sausage rolls, the opinionated TV host has now set his sights on Gillette, a brand of razors, after their recently released ad.
The advert played on the brand’s slogan, ‘The Best A Man Can Get’, and posed the question ‘Is this the best a man can get?’ in the context of wider debates surrounding ‘toxic masculinity’ and the #MeToo movement. In the ad, the viewer is shown examples of behaviour that would qualify as toxic masculinity – sexual harassment and violence, for example.
Morgan tweeted: ‘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’.
A lot of people evidently agree with his assessment of the advert. At the time of writing this article, the advert has over 24,ooo dislikes on YouTube and only around 7,000 likes. By the time this article is published, I still expect the dislikes will outweigh the likes.
To argue that this advert is ‘anti-man’ is to essentially argue that criticising sexual assault is an attack on masculinity. Right after declaring ‘We believe in the best of men’, the advert shows scenes of men sticking up for women in the face of unwanted sexual advances. I think most people would agree that is the best side of masculinity – using your strength to protect those who need your aid.
Piers Morgan and his Twitter army need to realise that the conversation around masculinity is layered in nuance. ‘Toxic masculinity’ is not masculinity in all its forms, and to suggest otherwise is downright insulting to decent men.