Ancestry.com Pulls Ad Amid Backlash That It Romanticized Slavery
The Utah-based genetic genealogy website also issued an apology for the ad.
Ancestry.com released an ad back in early April that recently came under fire amid accusations that it romanticized and whitewashed slavery.
The ad, titled "Inseparable," featured two "lovers" — a white man romantically pursuing a black woman in what appears to be the slave-owning South — as they run through streets and briefly find a place to hide and talk.
\u201cooooh my god LMAOOO who approved this ancestry commercial???\u201d— manny (@manny) 1555611449
As the man pulls a gold ring from his pocket he says, "Abigail. We can escape to the North. There's a place we can be together, across the border."
"Will you leave with me?" he asks as the video fades into black.
The ad has since recived crticism on social media and accused of being ahistorical, considering biracial children born during slavery were often the result of black women being raped by their white slave owners.
\u201cnobody: \n\nancestry dot com: how can we overly romanticize & create an irresponsible, ahistorical depiction of the relationship between white men & black women during the period of chattel slavery that completely disregards its power dynamics & the trauma of sexual exploitation?\u201d— Clint Smith (@Clint Smith) 1555619697
"Why do white people insist on romanticizing my Black female ancestors experiences with white men during slavery? They were raped, abused, treated like animals, beaten, and murdered by white men. Stop with the revisions," another user wrote.
\u201cWhat the hell is this @Ancestry?\n Why do white people insist on romanticizing my Black female ancestors experiences with white men during slavery?\n\nThey were raped, abused, treated like animals, beaten, and murdered by white men. Stop with the revisions.\n\nhttps://t.co/cDEWdkzJPm\u201d— Bishop Talbert Swan (@Bishop Talbert Swan) 1555619882
\u201cWhite man: you can\u2019t sit here!\n\nRosa parks: why not?\n\nWhite man: because you already have a place......in my heart.\n\n*ancestry dot com logo with a soft fade out*\u201d— Desus Nice (@Desus Nice) 1555613272
"The DNA testing industry is clearly building a robust biz model on the intergenerational trauma of being torn from ancestors and history. The Ancestry commercial is annoying, but idk if we've yet totally reckoned with what the model means and how bad it can get," another user wrote.
Following the backlash, Ancestry released the following apology.
"Ancestry is committed to telling important stories from history," the company said. "This ad was intended to represent one of those stories. We very much appreciate the feedback we have received and apologize for any offense that the ad may have caused."