Permanent Black Man
Ancestry pulls slavery-era ad after backlashGenealogical website Ancestry.com releases a commercial depicting a romantic relationship between an enslaved Black woman and a white man. The company has since apologized and pulled the commercial from TV and the internet.
30-sec videoAncestry.com apologized for an ad that showed a mixed-race couple discussing escaping to the North during the Civil War era. The ad drew widespread criticism on social media for whitewashing slavery, prompting the DNA testing company to remove it from TV and its YouTube channel. Ancestry started running the ad on TV on April 15, according to research firm iSpot.TV.
The ad is part of a campaign by Ancestry showing stories from the past to pique viewers’ curiosity about their ancestors. It depicts a white man holding up a ring and telling a black woman wearing Civil War-era clothing that they can be together if they escape to the North. The woman says nothing as the scene fades to black, with the line: “Without you, the story stops here.”
Critics pointed out that the ad ignores the fact that mixed race couplings during the slavery era were usually not romantic love stories but instead due to rape and violence against slaves.