Poignant P&G film reveals the struggles its LGBT+ staff faced in the 90s
Procter and Gamble (P&G) has launched a documentary which details the challenges faced by a group of LGBT+ former and current employees, who banded together in the early 90s to fight for equality in their workplace.
Out of the shadows
The film tells the story of 'Gable', an internal movement of gay and lesbian employees who strove to make the FMCG giant a more inclusive place to work.
It exposes the torment that the group, and other LGBTQ+ staff members, went through at the time, and how they strove to overcome it from within the walls of P&G's HQ in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Although society has come a long way, total acceptance and equality of the LGBT+ community is still far off in the distance. This is why P&G believes it's important to understand and appreciate the obstacles faced by the community, of which there are still many.
'Out of the Shadows' offers to ear to the individual experiences of LGBTQ+ members of staff at P&G's Cincinnati office in 1993 - when the business was far more conservative than it is today and homophobia was prevalent.
At P&G, sexual orientation was added to the equal employment opportunity policy towards the end of 1992; a significant move at the time - given P&G's conservative culture.
However, the move didn't create systemic change overnight - despite many of its employees thinking it would - because the company had no program or policy in place to drive it.
The documentary details how the scheme actually had a detrimental effect, with LGBT+ staff actually finding themselves the target of abuse from some homophobic employees.
The film follows how the introduction of Article 12 (an amendment that prevented any laws aimed at protecting gay men and lesbians) led to the formation of Gable and spurred P&G staff into action.
Gable still exists today, with 5,000 members in 50 countries.
The documentary launch follows on from P&G's chief brand officer Marc Pritchard saying he wanted to "reinvent" advertising, instead of betting on long-form, engaging content that combines the worlds of filmmaking and advertising.