John Lewis’s new TV ad featuring a young boy dancing in his mother’s clothes, makeup and jewelry upset the audience he’d wanted to please – because it wasn’t awake enough.
Viewers took offense at the retailer’s ad, accusing the retailer of “sexism, misogyny and gender ideology.’
The ad, titled ‘Let Life Happen’, premiered Monday during the Great British Bake Off.
It starts with a young boy in a messy bedroom full of clothes and jewelry dumped on the floor.
The boy, who wears a dress over and a large necklace over a t-shirt, then throws a pair of heeled shoes at a lamp and low-hanging light before running downstairs.
But the retailer was accused by Twitter users last night of “sexism, agenda push, appropriation of transcultures and sexualization of children.”
The boy wipes paint on his face from a palette he dropped on the floor as he danced around the house
The ad starts with a messy bedroom covered in dumped clothes and jewelry, before the boy shows up in a dress over a t-shirt
Twitter users have accused the shopping giants of sexism after the boy caused a massacre throughout the house
Twitter users said the ad showed a child imitating “raised and sexualized ‘female’ poses and gestures”
The ad also shows the boy picking up an umbrella and throwing it at an ornament while Stevie Nicks’ Edge of Seventeen plays in the background. Nick tweeted this in support of the ad
One user said: ‘The John Lewis ad of a young boy who is the center of attention for throwing everything away while his sister is obediently painting in a corner is sexism encapsulated in sixty seconds.’
Another added: ‘The squeaks and gestures are completely reminiscent of sexualized images of women in advertisements/music videos etc.
“It’s not what kids automatically do when they just dance and express themselves.”
A John Lewis spokesperson told MailOnline: ‘Our ad is a dramatic, fictional story in which our protagonist is carried away and dances to his favorite song – oblivious to the unintended consequences of his actions and showing no intentional harm.
If customers have Accidental Damage coverage with our Home Insurance, it would cover a range of major and minor disasters in the home, including accidental breakages caused by children in the family.
‘Before launch, we conducted customer research into the ad and it was well received.
“We had a young girl in our Tiny Dancer home insurance ad in 2015, so we chose a young male actor for this ad.”
The ad also shows the boy picking up an umbrella and throwing it at an ornament while Stevie Nicks’ Edge of Seventeen plays in the background.
Dancing and posing, the bespectacled boy throws paint on the floor and rubs his cheeks covered with his fingertips.
One user said the ad was “narcissistic, destructive, aggressive and misogynistic”
Others accused John Lewis of creating an ad that is ‘completely reminiscent of sexualized images of women’
The boy smashes picture frames as he goes downstairs to continue the carnage shown in the ad
John Lewis has been hit by allegations of sexism, gender ideology and patriarchy after the ad was published on Monday
A glass of liquid is spilled onto a kitchen surface and laptop as the boy makes his way into a dining room, where the ad ends with glitter throwing
The boy twists and swings his way into the kitchen, leaving painted handprints along the way and knocking over a glass of liquid before tossing glitter across the room as he stands on a dining table.
The ad, which advertises John Lewis’s home insurance, ends with the boy jumping on a couch and looking at the camera as another lamp falls to the floor behind him.
However, John Lewis has been hit by accusations of sexism, pushing the agenda, usurping transcultures and sexualizing children.
The shopping giants were also accused of encouraging male rights and patriarchy because a young girl and an older adult woman seemed to do little to stop the chaos.
Another Twitter user said, ‘Opinions on the John Lewis home insurance ‘Let life happen’ ad? I saw sexualization of a male child imitating OTT’s female attitude, who also acted like a bully and vandal…
“And the mother and sister just let it happen? Parallels to real life scream at me!’
In a blurb before the ad, John Lewis says ‘life is easier when you don’t have to worry’ before providing a link to his home insurance website.
However, not all users tweeted accusations, some took to the social media platform to defend the ad
However, viewers have said the ad promotes male rights.
Another tweet said: ‘I watched the John Lewis ad that people are talking about. Seems manly straight to me in a dress and makeup. We’ve been here before, haven’t we?’
However, some have suggested that many are overreacting to the ad, urging people to “stop whining.”
One person said, ‘Good old flea markets. If you don’t like it, switch. If you don’t agree, don’t go shopping.
“This is from a 35-year-old man who danced around in my mom’s clothes to 5-year-old Kylie. It’s nothing new.’