For a brand dedicated to science, learning and exploration, Discovery Channel's new ad campaign seems to have skipped over one pretty important fact:
the existence of women.
For over 30 years the Discovery Channel has been celebrating the beauty and craziness of this tiny planet we call home, but somehow in its latest ad campaign the educational channel managed to forget about half of the people who live here.
As part of its global re-branding this week Discovery launched a TV spot featuring its new tagline "The world is ours."
The only problem, except for one naked women the ad featured nothing but men.
Set to the tune of Hooked on a Feeling male stars from a number of Discovery Channel shows laughed, danced and sang along in an unmitigated "bro-fest."
We're hooked on a feeling #TheWorldIsOurs https://t.co/oMx50Pdvv5— Discovery (@Discovery)1554150290.0
Now women all over, including a group of female scientists are calling out the channel for its tone deaf "bro-down", reminding the brand that women like discovering things too.
@Discovery hey Discovery remember me? A woman who worked for you? Just letting you know women like science and exploring and learning too.— Julia Wilde (@Julia Wilde)1554178306.0
@Discovery 8 million people follow this account but the only validation we care about is from D U D E S coolcool— Emily Graslie 🌸🐝 (@Emily Graslie 🌸🐝)1554175062.0
@Discovery As a woman who is a science and factual TV presenter, one of my big dreams is to present something on Di… https://t.co/nRKDixd9IY— Lee Constable (@Lee Constable)1554194005.0
Science communicator and aspiring wildlife host Ashley Gary was one of the many women disappointed by the ad.
Gary told CNET in an interview:
"So many girls and women look to that channel for not only entertainment, but information about our world, but yet we weren't included."
So Gary and a group of other women scientists teamed up and put together their own video.
"If no one else will promote us and our work, we'll be our own cheerleader and promote ourselves."
Lead by biologist Sarah McAnulty a group of women scientists, communicators and researchers set out to remind Discovery that the world was a much bigger place as they lip-synced and danced to Eve's Let Me Blow Ya Mind in their labs and out in the field.
Watch their video here.
Discovery made a choice about how to represent science. We know that the world is, in fact, much bigger than that.… https://t.co/3iHhPM193u— Sarah McAnulty (@Sarah McAnulty)1554421412.0
Needless to say minds were blown by the amazing celebration of women in the STEM fields.
@SarahMackAttack @Discovery Omg, I love this sooo much! Can't stop watching! https://t.co/FVGJuF38wv— Katreesi (@Katreesi)1554422476.0
@SarahMackAttack @Discovery Thank you so much! Amazing work. Happy to follow all these amazing STEM goddesses.— Kim Cobb (@Kim Cobb)1554430093.0
@SarahMackAttack @Discovery SARAH THIS IS AMAZING OMG!!!!— Teagan Wall, PhD (@Teagan Wall, PhD)1554423518.0
@SarahMackAttack @Discovery Just showed my 7 year daughter this and she loved it. We're now going through the scien… https://t.co/wxcbfhD3Up— Nic Morgan (@Nic Morgan)1554550912.0
@SarahMackAttack @Discovery https://t.co/lvBp7vesML— Skylar Bayer 🐚, Ph.D. (@Skylar Bayer 🐚, Ph.D.)1554481940.0
@SarahMackAttack @Discovery #ScienceIsForEveryone https://t.co/Ok9OlYS8dh— Lori Glaspie (@Lori Glaspie)1554423078.0
As amazing as the response was, many were disappointed that it was necessary in the first place. Though for many women in the STEM fields exclusionary thinking like that shown in Discovery's ad is nothing new.
Before the ad aired Vulcanologist Jess Phoenix was already familiar with Discovery's attitude towards women in STEM.
Phoenix told CNET:
"When members of my team have pitched me as a show host to Discovery and other networks, we've been told that their audiences won't believe I'm a scientist."
Women like neuroscientist BethAnn McLaughlin who is leading the #MeTooSTEM movement keep McAnulty feeling optimistic about the future for women in STEM though.
"These groups make me feel hopeful for the future women in STEM, even if it feels depressing from the trenches right now."
"These women turned one more negative in a long line of exclusionary nonsense into a funny, light-hearted, defiant reminder that women in science are not going anywhere."
And with "mind blowing" efforts like the response to Discovery's ad it's obvious the amazing women of STEM aren't going to take being forgotten about any more.