Ancestry.com apologizes for romanticizing slavery in new commercial

21 Avril, 2019, 00:18 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
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"We can escape to the North".

(Ancestry.com) A mixed-race couple from the slavery era is depicted in an Ancestry DNA testing commercial titled, "Inseparable". "There's a place we can be together, across the border".

Before the woman can even utter a response, the screen cuts off and the words, "Without you, the story stops here", come across the screen. "We are in the process of pulling the ad from television and have removed it from YouTube". "Will you leave with me?".

Backlash was swift as critics accused the company of offering a romanticized version of American history.

Many pointed out that the commercial was set in an era where black women were subjugated and raped by white slave owners and said the ad ignored the power dynamic between owners and slaves.

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Following the extensive online backlash, Ancestry - a popular site for tracing family history - has removed the ad. "Ancestry is committed to telling important stories from history", the company said in a statement to CBS News Thursday.

"This ad was meant to represent one of those stories", the statement said. "We very much appreciate the feedback we have received and apologized for any offense that the ad may have caused".

Noel Voltz, an assistant professor of African American history at the University of Utah, told the Salt Lake Tribune that the ad was "incredibly problematic". "It's insulting. It was a terrible history of exploitation at all levels".

Ancestry did not answer questions about how the ad was conceived and executed, or how many people reviewed it or would have had to sign off on it.

The controversy comes amid a spate of brands missing the mark when it comes to trying to embed themselves into culture.

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