Procter and Gamble Commercial: Let’s Talk About the Talk

Procter and Gamble commercial

If you haven’t heard about the Procter and Gamble commercial, The Talk, let me please be the one to introduce it to you. It’s raw, it’s historical and it’s spot on!

Anyone claiming it’s race baiting, racist or that they’re going to boycott Procter and Gable because of it, I say this: ask yourself why it touches a nerve. And for touching a nerve, for telling it like it is, Procter and Gamble apparently doesn’t make any apologies and frankly, my dear, I could give a rat’s ass about the sensitivities of folks who are offended by the new Procter and Gamble commercial.

“That’s not a compliment,” says a mother to her young daughter as they stand in front of the mirror. We presume the scene is taking place in the 1930s.

“Listen. It’s an ugly, nasty word, and you are going to hear it, and there’s nothing I can do about that,” says a mother in an updo wearing 1950s-style glasses.

Jumping ahead to bellbottoms, sweater vests and Afros that men and women of color made not only fashionable, but also were conveying Black Power in the 1970s, with her arm around her son in his baseball uniform she imparts this wisdom to him: “There are some people who feel you don’t deserve the same privileges just because of what you look like.”

Under an umbrella to shield themselves from the rain, a mom tells her daughter she can be anything she wants and she’s just as good as they are (the camera had just panned on a bunch of White kids running and playing), but you have to be twice as good and twice as smart.

Getting closer to modern-day, a mother and son are just finishing dinner when she asks (probably for the 100th time) whether her son has his ID on him … “in case they stop you.” She lets him walk out the door with his drumsticks knowing full well some cop won’t wait to find out they’re not some new fangled weapon before he kills this young drummer.

If you haven’t got tears in your eyes by this point in the commercial, just wait…

Mom is letting her daughter drive her to work and then presumably continue going on to school. Mom gives her the talk. “It’s not about if you’ll be pulled over, it’s a question of when.” Initially, the new driver assumes her mother is questioning her driving skills. “This is about you not coming home,” Mom adds.

The sobering response shakes the once confident young woman, who says, “I’m going to be okay.” It’s a declarative statement. She pauses and looks at her very concerned mother, whose face we no longer see and asks, “Right?”

“You are not pretty for a Black girl,” says the mom who earlier had to explain to her daughter that the comment by the woman at the store was not a compliment. “You are beautiful, period.”

I had wondered whether Procter and Gamble’s leadership team changed from all-White to being more of a level playing field, but it doesn’t look like it. So what’s the incentive for them? Indeed the company has a few PoC in leadership roles: two Black (one could be Biracial), two Indians, two Hispanic and one Asian. The leadership teams comprises 33 people. So now I am even more curious than ever: why would Procter and Gamble make the commercial?

Oh, you haven’t seen the Procter and Gamble commercial? Sorry, here it is:

Now that you have seen the Procter and Gamble commercial, let’s talk about the talk.

 

 

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Published on: August 2, 2017

Filed Under: Voices of the Community

Views: 1074

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8 Responses to Procter and Gamble Commercial: Let’s Talk About the Talk

  1. Avatar jmuhj says:

    Those who should see this and take it in, won’t. But that doesn’t mean we should stop trying.

    • Great commercial about a country that has always been racist , and also about how black Americans have live in this evil country . Reality is that I have had this conversation with my mother . She called me her one and only , because I was the only boy out five children , and yes I said evil country , because only an evil place would murder people because if there color and try to justify it as Gods will that is not Christian and neither is this country and that’s what this commercial is about thank you for sharing .

      • Avatar Sarah Ratliff says:

        When this is the talk that must go on in the home of every person of color, it does or should make all of us question whether this is what God intends.

        Thank you,
        Sarah

    • Avatar Sarah Ratliff says:

      I agree on both counts. Sadly the ones who, as you say, need to take it in, won’t or will be outraged at the suggestion.

      Thanks,
      Sarah

  2. More fortune 500 companies should make commercial like this. And for those who are outraged by this commercial, people would rather live in denial than face the truth.

    • Avatar Sarah Ratliff says:

      I agree, Vivienne! People would rather live in denial than face the truth about how jacked up the system is.

      Thank you,
      Sarah

  3. Avatar Crissy says:

    I do not agree with the message in the Proctor and Gamble’s Talk because African-American fathers are not actively portrayed in the “Talk”. My husband was deeply offended by this depiction. The quote from Boyz in the Hood is very relevant when viewing the Talk when Trey’s (Cuba Gooding, Jr.) mother questioned why it was believed that African-American women make babies by themselves.
    I do agree that African-American parents need to have conversations with their children as all parents should. The idea that only African-American mothers are doing this discounts all the conversations children have with African-American males who are fathers, grandfathers, uncles, teachers or community members. Society loves to emasculate the African-American male or portray them as non-productive members of society.
    I implore viewers to look at the Talk video again and to notice who’s missing from those conversations. Conversations are great but lets include everyone.

    • Avatar Sarah Ratliff says:

      Crissy,

      You do make an excellent point! It’s funny, the way I took the absence was that the fathers were missing because police and White Supremacists tend to target African American males over females. I took it that they were not just missing from the conversations but they were missing.

      Thanks,
      Sarah

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