After The Handmaid’s Tale‘s 2017 Super Bowl commercial was compared to “Trump’s America,” Hulu came back this year with an even more obvious attack on President Ronald Reagan.
The ad, which aired during the first commercial break of Super Bowl LIII, seeks to twist Reagan’s sunny and effective “Morning in America” 1984 campaign message into sinister Orwellian propaganda.
The spot begins with the exact same music and voice over as the Reagan ad, “It’s morning again in America. Today more women will go to work than ever before in our country’s history…” except Reagan’s version said, “men and women” and Hulu’s version runs footage of the show’s domestic servant “Marthas” and the “Unwomen” working as slaves in the colonies.
Continuing with a new script, it goes on, “This year, dozens of children will be born to happy and healthy families. It’s morning again…” and suddenly the voice is distorted and fire and brimstone rain down until the trailer ends with the handmaids lining up at the National Mall, the Washington Monument converted into a cross in the background, and Elizabeth Moss as June Osborne/Offred saying, “Wake up, America. Morning’s over.”
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The Verge called the commercial “a sharp take on the criticism of America’s religious right” and The AV Club said it “a very obvious and direct nod to Ronald Reagan’s ‘Morning In America’ campaign ad, but with footage of good Americans from the nightmarish, far-too-believable version of America seen in the show.”
Hulu Chief Marketing Officer Kelly Campbell told the Wall Street Journal that the ad “reflects the show’s focus on the relationship between those in charge and those who aren’t, ‘which happens to reflect conversations taking place in today’s environment.’”
Meanwhile, the real “nightmarish” conversations taking place “in today’s environment” between “those in charge and whose who aren’t” are happening in Richmond, Virginia, where infanticide is defended from the State House Floor and by the governor, and in New York where the Freedom Tower is lit pink to celebrate government sanction of the bloody sacrifice of viable babies on the altar of choice. It’s an agenda so extreme only 6 other countries on the planet even allow elective abortions after 20 weeks, including Communist China, Vietnam, and North Korea. These atrocities are taking place right now in America while some are distracted by liberal fever dreams of a “far-too-believable” conservative Christian dystopian future.
The Handmaid’s Tale tries to be an allegory of the horrors that could befall us at any time, but many of those who glom onto the Hulu series as a unique and timely warning about Trump’s America seem to forget that Margaret Atwood’s book the first season was based on was published in 1985 and meant to critique Reagan and the Christian Right. To liberals, we are always one step away from fascism and women being reduced to chattel when a Republican is in power. They thought Reagan was evil incarnate when he was president, then the Bushes, then Trump. You can only cry wolf so many times.
Wake up, America!