John Lewis has issued a statement defending its latest home insurance advert which features a boy in a dress, heels and makeup.
First airing on television during the week of 11 October, the commercial sees a young boy dancing around his home as Edge of Seventeen by Stevie Nicks plays.
As he does so, he messes up the house by doing things like throwing glitter, smearing paint on the walls and knocking photo frames off the wall.
Since then, an array of people have taken to social media to share their outrage at the advert, with one seeing it as “male entitlement” because of his mother and sister watching on as he messes up their home.
“The John Lewis advert of a young boy being the centre of attention for trashing everything while his sister obediently sits and paints in a corner is sexism encapsulated in 60 seconds,” another person wrote.
Others pointed out that the advert is “not real life” and felt there was no real reason for people to be as angered as they are over it.
“It’s not real life – goodness me, who hasn’t had a bit of paint smeared on a wall? My cousin’s son tipped a can of emulsion over his head when she went out of the room! It’s showing you the sorts of things that happen by accident in a made up film.”
Many feel the criticism was really just a way of deliberately misinterpreting the commercial to hide the fact the boy is seen wearing a dress and makeup.
“I thought it was good,” the person said. “Sorry that in 2021 bigots still get angry about a boy wearing a dress.”
Another added: “Wow I see people are really upset about the John Lewis advert because… checks notes… a little boy in a dress is having fun and making a mess and they’re equating this to the ‘gay agenda’ ruining society. Go outside and touch grass. Please.”
In response to the criticism, John Lewis said they “believe in children having fun” and defended the storyline.
“At John Lewis, we believe in children having fun and that’s why we chose this playful storyline for our latest advert,” they wrote in a statement. “It’s designed to show the young actor getting carried away with his dramatic performance. He is not wilfully damaging his home and is unaware of the unintentional consequences of his actions.”
The full advert can be seen below or by clicking here.