Men Are Threatening to Boycott Gillette Over #MeToo Ad Calling On Them to Be Their 'Best'

A new Gillette ad challenging men to be "the best" they can be by combating toxic masculinity and setting a good example for young boys received widespread praise online—as well as a backlash.

The ad, which transformed the razor brand's slogan "The Best a Man Can Get" to "The Best Men Can Be," called on men to take responsibility in addressing issues of sexism, sexual harassment and assault and bullying in society.

Related: Rebecca Solnit, author and activist who saw #MeToo coming, calls for "revolution in masculinity"

"Bullying. The #MeToo movement against sexual harassment. Toxic masculinity. Is this the best a man can get? Is it?" the ad asked, before showing a montage of scenes depicting cyberbullying, sexual harassment and mansplaining in the boardroom.

"You can't hide from it. It's been going on far too long...making the same excuses," the voiceover said as a scene showed a group of men calling out, "Boys will be boys," followed by footage of two children wrestling on the ground and raising doubt over how the phrase perpetuates sexist stereotypes.

But, in the wake of the #MeToo movement, the ad suggested, "Something has finally changed and there will be no going back...because we, we believe in the best of men."

While the Gillette ad's creators might have been trying to appeal to "the best" in men, the commercial appeared to have drawn mixed reactions from men and women alike. On Youtube, the ad received 264,000 downvotes, compared with 41,000 upvotes as of Tuesday morning.

While some viewers, including Human Rights Campaign spokesperson Charlotte Clymer, embraced the ad as an "unexpectedly powerful and moving video" on toxic masculinity, others denounced it as an "exploitative" attempt to capitalize on an important movement. Some men have further vowed to boycott Gillette over what they consider to be an "assault on masculinity."

Among the strongest critics were British television personality Piers Morgan, who took to Twitter to rail against the ad: "I've used Gillette razors my entire 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."

"Let boys be damn boys. Let men be damn men," Morgan wrote.

American Olympian Mark Schultz also appeared to have joined the boycott, calling on Twitter supporters to "BOYCOTT FEMINIST COMPANIES LIKE GILLETTE."

"Their razors are expensive," Schultz added. "Go to the dollar shave club or Harry's for way better deals."

Comedian Ricky Gervais also appeared to take a jab at the ad, tweeting: "I used to love beating up kids at barbecues. Now I realize that is wrong."

Meanwhile, others have accused Gillette of exploiting the #MeToo movement and called out the razor company for hypocrisy over its own "Venus" brand, which is targeted toward women.

"If @Gillette really wants to make a change, perhaps they could start by looking at their pink 'Venus' range for women that includes names like Passion and Embrace and costs more than the men's range for the same thing. Thanks," skincare expert Caroline Hirons tweeted.

Others argued that the ad is effective—precisely because it had attracted attention.

"That Gillette advert you think is good/ good marketing," tweeted Matt Kilcoyne, a communications head at British neoliberal think tank, the Adam Smith Institute, adding that the commercial "makes you talk about a brand that everyone had basically forgotten about."