Not every white male creative is a member of the boys club

In this guest post, a male creative whose appointment was the subject of critical public commentary explains how it feels to be the subject of that backlash.

As a white male creative, I’ve been ridiculed several times on social media just because I was hired. The news comes out and there is outrage, not just in the comments section but also from one Cindy Gallop. The company who hired me is also ridiculed, making it far less likely that they will hire another white male creative (or publicise it) in the future.

I’m called privileged, self-entitled, privately educated, chauvinistic, undeserving and it’s generally assumed I’m part of some ‘boys club’, a club that even if it did exist, I’ve certainly never been invited to.

anonymous silhouette

While many might say “suck it up you over-privileged white male insert other insults”, it hurts.

The truth is, I wasn’t privately educated. I grew up very poor. I struggled to get into the advertising industry. I couldn’t even speak properly until the age of 12, and I still hide my impediment. Nothing was handed to me, I worked for four years as a runner / office-hand / lackey before I even had a shot at a decent brief.

And even then, I never fit in. I didn’t go to their schools, I didn’t talk like they did, I couldn’t afford to dress like they did, I didn’t have rich parents and connections like they did. I didn’t really relate to any of them, including the women who as far as I knew all went to prestigious schools and all had family backgrounds much better than mine.

But I enjoyed my job. And I felt lucky to be a part of a colourful industry. And I worked hard, harder than most to get to a point where I was promoted, moved through the ranks, won business, won awards and a lot slower than my peers eventually learned how to dress / speak / politic properly. And I was offered a job.

It was publicised. Then my company was ridiculed within an inch of their life for hiring me, just because I was white and a male.

Now I don’t want you to feel sorry for me, but just imagine this.

Imagine if I was Asian and people ridiculed me for being hired because I was Asian and it’s 2016 for fuck’s sake, why are we only hiring Asian men.

Would that be acceptable?

Even if it were true that we were only hiring Asian men?

Or would that be racist?

Imagine if I was female, and people ridiculed me for being hired and everyone said ‘FFS it’s 2016, why so many females? THIS IS FUCKED!’.

If everyone was hiring females and someone said that, would it not still be sexist?

Even just a little sexist?

I don’t expect anybody to care about me or my feelings. I don’t expect anyone to care how much their anonymous remarks really do cut, especially when they are untrue and unfounded.

What I do care about is the blatant discrimination that is happening in this industry. The discrimination that nobody would ever call ‘discrimination’, because with 52% of the population being female, us men are still the ‘majority’.

I also care about the ‘us vs them’ mentality. It shows there are a great many people upset with the fact that some of us have penises. And like most dicks, most of us have strong opinions.

I hope an industry of artists, crazy people, writers, university drop-outs, inventors, deadbeats and failed people in general would be mature enough to stop the entire ‘us vs them’ sexist bullshit, stop dividing each other in terms of gender and start seeing what is common amongst us.

Kevin articulated it poorly but what he should have said is the debate needs to finish soon. We need to move on to a solution. One where we’re not tearing each other apart based on gender, but one where we reward each other based on merit.

Cindy Gallop

And Cindy Gallop is not a cool person. I’ve suffered more blatant gender discrimination than any female I know in this industry in the most humiliating and public forum.

And to the grown-ups, I simply ask you one thing.

Stop it.

Just stop it.


  • This article originally came into Mumbrella as a comment on last night’s news that Publicis head coach Kevin Roberts has resigned. Mumbrella does not know the person’s identity. However, we feel that his views are a valid alternative perspective on the debate and have taken the decision to go against our usual policy of not publishing guest comments from sources whose identity we do not know. As is always the case with guest posts, the views of the writer do not necessarily reflect the views of Mumbrella.

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