The commercial for the series, which is based on Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel rooted in women’s oppression, is a play on President Ronald Reagan’s 1984 re-election ad known as “Morning in America.”
“Today, more women will go to work than ever before in our country’s history,” a voice-over says as the Hulu ad shows crowds of handmaids ― enslaved women forced to bear children ― getting ready for work. The scene, which starts out in an eerily optimistic light, mimics Reagan’s ad but doesn’t mention men.
The commercial eventually reveals more elements of dread, showing a scene depicting the Washington Monument as a giant cross, with “WAKE UP AMERICA. MORNING’S OVER.” spelled across the screen in large red letters.
The jarring advertisement brought plenty of Twitter reactions from people who saw it as more than just a television promotion.
“Handmaid” executive producer Warren Littlefield told USA Today that the theme of the show’s new season is “blessed be the fight,” and assured viewers that this next season won’t be as heavy as previous ones.
Hulu released a statement to The Wall Street Journal that the commercial reflects the series’ goal of showing the relationship between people with power and people without it, “which happens to reflect conversations taking place in today’s environment.”