Ever since razor brand Gillette released a commercial called "We Believe: The Best Men Can Be" last week, the internet has been abuzz with pretty much every kind of response imaginable. One of the most contentious reactions thus far comes from Blaze TV host Graham Allen. As a way of criticizing Gillette, the dad and his children posed with guns in a photo for social media — and the post is drawing plenty of controversy.
If you don't watch Blaze TV (that's the same company where Tomi Lahren hosted her show), you're probably not familiar with Graham Allen. He hosts a show called Rant Nation, which airs twice a week and features "rants, high-profile interviews, skits, and journeys into Real America," as per the show's page on Blaze TV's website. Recently, he posted a photo of himself, two young boys, and one young girl, who I assume are his children. (He has mentioned on Rant Nation that he has three kids.)
In the shot, the family is standing in a field of flowers. Allen and the two boys are all holding guns, and have serious expressions on their faces. His daughter, dressed in a sequined dress and wearing a flower on her head, is smiling wide, and she is the only one not holding a gun. He tagged Gillette's Instagram account in the photo.
"Practicing our 'toxic masculinity,'" Allen captioned the shot on Instagram, followed by an American flag emoji. "And YES I tagged @gillette. I’ll raise my kids the way I believe they should be....thanks for your advice. #guns #kids #life #love #faith #family," he continued, adding the laughing emoji a few times, as well as the face palm emoji.
His post was quickly flooded with comments, many of which came from people who explained that the photo actually had nothing to do with the Gillette ad.
"You are missing the point by posting a photo like this and I’m pretty sure Gillette doesn’t care," one person wrote. "You missed the damn point of the ad. Also salty much?" someone else commented, adding the laughing emoji. "If an ad about stopping other men from harassing/mistreating women and bullying their male counterparts made you upset then congratulations you’re a part of the problem," read another comment.
In case you're not familiar with the Gillette ad, here's a quick synopsis. The commercial opens with a montage of examples of toxic masculinity and sexual harassment that are all too common: boys fighting (to which people say "boys will be boys"), men pinching women's butts, and a male boss demeaning — and even touching — a female employee. Then, the commercial goes on to show how the Me Too movement is changing toxic masculinity. The next few clips show men acting the way humans should act. They step in when other men are harassing women, they step in when boys are beating each other up, and more. As the voiceover explains, "the boys of today will be the men of tomorrow."
It's unclear exactly why Allen thought having his kids pose with guns was the best way of critiquing the Gillette ad. Perhaps he felt Gillette's attack on toxic masculinity was also an attack on his right to bear arms, something that he equates with his masculinity. No matter his reasoning, giving children guns definitely isn't a good idea.
Editor's Note: A previous version of this article misidentified Graham Allen. It has since been updated.