Doncaster singer John Parr has backed shaving giant Gillette – after an online backlash against the firm’s latest advert which references sexual harassment, male bullying and the #MeToo campaign.
The singer has issued a statement praising the firm for its ‘clear and honourable’ advert which has been described as ‘repulsive’ by outspoken TV host Piers Morgan and has led to scores of men saying they will now boycott Gillette products.
The musician, who lives in Sykehouse, has a long association with the firm – a version of his song The Best has long been used by Gillette in its adverts along with its slogan and jingle The Best A Man Can Get.
The St Elmo's Fire singer issued a statement following an angry backlash against the new advert Believe, which replaces the slogan with The Best Men Can Be, along with images urging men to be better and putting sexist behaviour and ‘toxic masculinity’ in the past.
He said: “This song was written for children. The best a man or woman are blessed to have.
“All those years ago Gillette used the song on a commercial.
“30 years on in this straight jacketed world of political correctness, I ask you, if you are at all interested, to decide how the message of this song and indeed the commercial of the time could be anything but clear and honourable., expressing the way a parent hopes to raise their child.”
He posted the lyrics of the song, co-written with Jake Holmes, on his Facebook page as anger grew over the advertisement.
The company says it wants men to hold each other "accountable".
Some have praised the message of the advert, which aims to update the company's 30-year-old tagline, but others say Gillette is "dead" to them.
The ad has been watched more than 2 million times on YouTube in 48 hours.
In it, the company asks "Is this the best a man can get?" before showing images of bullying, sexual harassment, sexist behaviour and aggressive male behaviour.
It then shows examples of more positive behaviour - such as stepping into prevent these behaviours when they happen in public.
Piers Morgan has led the backlash and said: “What Gillette is now saying, everything we told you to be, men, for the last 30 years is evil.
“Now you’re all evil people, you’re all toxic with your masculinity.”
“If we did this to women. If I did a commercial tomorrow that showed the worst of women, all hell would break loose…”
Piers continued: “I think it’s repulsive…the implication we all have something to apologise for? Shut up Gillette.
“You spent the last 30 years telling us to be masculine. There is nothing wrong with being masculine, now you want us to feel sorry and apologetic.
“Sorry, no, I’m not going to.”
Comments on the video have also been largely negative, with viewers saying they will never buy Gillette products again or that the advert was "feminist propaganda".
"In less than two minutes you managed to alienate your biggest sales group for your products. Well done," wrote one angry viewer.
There have also been calls for Gillette, which is owned by Procter & Gamble, to post an apology video.
Gillette president Gary Coombe said: "By holding each other accountable, eliminating excuses for bad behaviour, and supporting a new generation working toward their personal 'best,' we can help create positive change that will matter for years to come.”
The advert was directed by Kim Gehrig from the UK-based agency Somesuch, who also directed the 2015 campaign for Sport England, This Girl Can.