A French broadcaster's attempt to promote gender equality backfired this week. That's because they chose to send their message with this ad, showing a home in chaos because all the women are at work.
There's smoke pouring out of the oven, a man's shirt is on fire because the iron is unattended, and the toilet seat is up. "Where are the women?" a song asks in the background. The answer: they're "on France 3" working as presenters.
"The majority of our presenters are women!" the ad proclaims.
Whoever came up with this confusing video is hopefully in some serious trouble right now. But more importantly, the fact that the campaign presumably got past some kind of internal approval process at France's second-largest public broadcaster suggests that some people at the organization still hold backwards attitudes about a woman's place in life, and what happens to a household when a woman has a career.
Politicians, feminists, and the general public were not happy. French Women's Minister Pascale Boistard wrote "The 'women' campaign of France3 doesn’t seem to be the best way of promoting equality among TV hosts."
"It’s ridiculous. Nothing but a collection of sexist cliches. And yet it’s an important cause…Shame," this tweet says:,
"Is this some kind of joke? Where is the honor here? This humor is lamentable. #sexist" wrote one woman:
"What exactly is the message here? That your female hosts have abandoned their “natural” occupations of cleaning, organizing, cooking, etc.?" wrote another woman:
The ad is especially surprising, the Guardian writes, because France 3's new head Delphine Ernotte is well-known for speaking out against sexism and for promoting gender equality. She ordered the ad to be taken down and cancelled its launch on television following the internet backlash. Her representatives told French media that she had not seen the ad before it was posted online, according to the newspaper.