A new ad campaign by US multinational Procter & Gamble addressing racism has sparked praise and outrage for its depiction of African American mothers explaining racism to their children across different eras.
Called 'The Talk', the ad is being released in the US this week, but was uploaded late last month online where it received swift praise for its frank look at racism, as well as criticism for "race baiting" in some quarters.
“It’s an ugly, nasty word, and you are going to hear it, nothing I can do about that,” one mother says to her son in a scene from the ad. “But you are not going to let that word hurt you, you hear me?”
In another scene, a mother tells her young daughter who has just gotten a licence how to behave if she gets pulled over by the police.
When the daughter responds with: “Ma, I’m a good driver don’t worry, okay?”
Her mother replies: "Baby, this is not about you getting a ticket. This is about you not coming home.”
in another scene, a worried mother checks her son has his ID before leaving the house and anxiously tells him to come "straight home" after music practice.
Some were quick to express outrage at the ad's depiction of racism.
"Oh, now I see why black people are so racist. It's because of their parents poisoning their minds since their childhood," wrote one commenter on a YouTube posting of the ad.
"White tears below," wrote one commenter, who received a response saying: "Pathetic black victimhood culture above".
However, more people defended the ad and questioned those claiming it was racist.
"Addressing racism is NOT racism. To deny that blacks actually have to go through this with our babies is just showing your privilege," wrote one defender.
"The video was about black mothers explaining to their children to not be bitter but rather to be better... and still some white folk find a way to complain. It amazes me the level of ignorance that is pervasive across place and time."
Others questioned the motive behind the ad and called the company cynical.
"Proctor(sic) and Gamble don't care about black people," wrote another.
The company which produces a range of consumer goods has produced videos on gender bias in the past, as well as an audio series about bias called 'My Black is Beautiful'.