Celebrities are no strangers to bizarre brand deals and sponsorships. Remember when Kim Kardashian opened a Charmin-branded restroom in Times Square back in 2010? You’ve got to get that bag somehow, even when it comes to the biggest stars out there, but nobody was expecting a milk ad to show up on Instagram, let alone being (awkwardly) promoted by American Horror Story actress Emma Roberts.
The ad in question saw Roberts, a “life-long milk drinker,” explain to her 19.7 million followers how she makes her iced lattes using whole milk. Spoiler alert, it’s done exactly the same way as everyone else does it. Roberts’ stans were in a frenzy following the #gonnaneedmilk advertisement. Did this seemingly small promo warrant such backlash from netizens though? That’s what we’re here to discuss.
The eye roll-inducing video saw the actress participate in the stereotypical voice over ‘get ready with me’ styled format, swanning around her no-doubt million dollar kitchen, while simultaneously feeding viewers with a myriad of facts about milk, including its nutritional value and the fact that it’s integral to her as a mother raising a child. In one section, the nepotism baby states: “Milk not only helps me stay active, but it provides vitamins for my son.”
A number of users took to the comments section, which has since been disabled, and expressed their utter shock at the partnership. One of the most significant criticisms posed by former fans revolved around how Roberts chose to participate in a partnership with an industry that perpetuates so much harm and injustice towards animals.
“Do you realise how much harm it causes to animals and the environment?” wrote one commenter. Another user reminded us that “cows milk → calves.”
Milk adverts are nothing new, although Robert’s attempt is pointedly less fun than the quintessential “Got Milk?” celebrity ads that ruled the 2010s. Given the previous milk campaigns’ success, it seems odd to be so bothered by the promotion of the fridge staple, but, in today’s climate conscious age, it’s not massively surprising to see the #oatmilkgang so up in arms about the partnership.
The dairy industry is cruel and a huge drain on the environment, that’s no lie. Five seconds online and you’ll soon be smothered with an abundance of images portraying the dirty and cramped conditions that industrial farm cows are subjected to.
Not to say that milk alternatives are guilt-free either, especially given their own environmental issues, but at least the latter avoid immense cruelty against cows and calves.
We’re just surprised to see Big Milk showing up with a paycheck for Roberts to make a milky latte and rattle off facts about the drink from a script. The strangest part was the mention of milk helping her son reach his “height potential,” as though a short son would be a failure to her as a parent.
We’d like to know what drew the Scream Queens star to selling her soul to the dairy industry, but there’s probably not much more to it than a sizeable paycheck.
The milk industry clearly needs a push and Roberts influencing us on Instagram is almost definitely not the solution—especially given its neglect in acknowledging gen Zers’ waning interest in cow juice. But hey, it was worth a try, right?
With milk making a spill into the influencing sphere, we can only wonder what other household goods and groceries are going to show up on our feeds. It’s only a matter of time before we see eggs and sliced bread being promoted by the likes of Jenna Ortega and Paul Mescal.