As razor company Gillette aimed to commodify the Times Up movement with a new ad, it inspired a heated debate on Monday. And “Fox & Friends” was ready.
Just a few days after getting riled up over a months-old revision to psychiatric guidelines for treating men and boys, the show’s hosts dove headfirst into the Gilette ad’s messaging on Tuesday.
While Ainsley Earhardt judged it “wonderful” and Steve Doocy largely steered clear from offering his opinion, Brian Kilmeade appeared offended.
Kilmeade exaggerated the ad’s premise, saying that its images of men behaving badly is akin to “showing a man breaking into a house, knocking over the furniture, stealing the money out of the safe, and saying, ‘Let’s stop this bad behavior. Buy my razor.’”
He continued: “Let’s point out all the bad things that you might say about men, put them into an ad, make men feel horrible, and then say, ‘Overpay for a razor.’”
The nearly two-minute spot begins by showing men and boys bullying one another, fighting, harassing and demeaning women while excusing their actions with the “same old” lines. One scene shows a row of men tending to grills repeating “boys will be boys will be boys.”
The turning point in the commercial comes with a female news anchor reporting on the Me Too movement and a voiceover challenging the men to confront their own behavior. By the end, men and boys are shown breaking up fights and supporting baby daughters.
Earhardt later asked a panel consisting of a Fox Business host, a New York Post columnist and a former New York Police Department officer for their negative takes on the ad. Darrin Porcher, the former law enforcement officer, attempted to argue it was somehow relevant that women represent a slight majority in the population.
“The men are actually the minority, they’re not the majority in the United States. We’re not R. Kelly or Harvey Weinstein,” Porcher said. He added, “What this ad represents is an atrocity.”
Later on one of America’s most popular morning programs, Earnhardt asked NFL player Benjamin Watson to chime in.
“I agree with it largely,” said the New Orleans Saints tight end.
“Good things can come from it when we as men, when we as a culture realize that some of the things that we say, some of the things that we do and some of the things that we allow to happen around us can be changed if we’re willing to step up and, in essence, be real men,” Watson said.
When Kilmeade asked whether the longtime star athlete was afraid that the ad will make men “lose their toughness,” Watson replied: “You can have men who are tough, who are strong, who wrestle as we saw in the video. You can also have men who are tender, who are kind, who are loving, who speak truth, who affirm their children,” he said.
CORRECTION: This story has been amended to reflect that “Fox & Friends” is not the most popular morning show on TV, but consistently ranks highly among morning programs on cable networks.