Another day, another racially insensitive ad. This time, an Ancestry.com commercial has attracted attention for its highly objectionable portrayal of slavery. HuffPost reports that the company has pulled the ad, titled “Inseparable,” after many accused it of romanticizing relationships between enslaved women and white men. In the commercial, a white man offers a gold ring to a black woman named Abigail (who appears to be a slave), and asks if she will run away with him. It’s not clear how the male character knows Abigail, but the underlying assumption is that they’re in love.
The message “without you, the story stops here,” appears on the screen, followed by a marriage certificate for Abigail Williams. According to The New York Times, the ad aired in Utah earlier in April.
Although the ad has been removed from YouTube, it’s still available on Twitter.
Many have criticized the ad for romanticizing a violent history, pointing out that enslaved women were often raped by white slaveowners during this time period and were allowed zero autonomy over their choices or their bodies.
Some also pointed out that the ad wasn’t even historically accurate.
Ancestry.com apologized for the ad in a statement to HuffPost.
Needless to say, this ad didn’t just miss the mark—it obliterated it. Please do better, world.