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Gay CIA employee ‘stunned’ by rainbow in another cringe-inducing recruitment ad

Emma Powys Maurice May 11, 2021
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CIA recruitment

The CIA missed the mark once again with its latest "woke" recruitment ad (Twitter/@CIA)

The CIA is continuing its “woke-washing” recruitment campaign with a new video about a gay librarian who claims to be “stunned” by the agency’s inclusivity.

The heavy-handed “Humans of CIA” series was met with hilarity on both sides of the political spectrum as liberals and conservatives alike mocked the CIA’s attempt at co-opting progressive language and values.

The first awkward video starred a “cisgender millennial” Latina officer, but for the next instalment the HR team ramped up the saccharine levels to maximum.

It opens on an unnamed employee who describes himself as an “agency librarian”. His voiceover is accompanied by a video montage of him at work, filmed in slow motion for extra wholesomeness.

“Growing up gay in a small Southern town, I was lucky to have a wonderful and accepting family,” he says in the clip. “I always struggled with the idea that I may not be able to discuss my personal life at work.

“Imagine my surprise when I was taking my oath at the CIA and I noticed a rainbow on then-Director [John] Brennan’s lanyard,” he continued.

He later learns it was designed by ANGEL, one of the CIA’s many employee research groups. “I remember being stunned,” he says.

“Officers from the top down work hard to ensure that every single person, whatever their gender, gender identity, race, disability, or sexual orientation, can bring their entire self to work every day.”

“China is laughing at us,” tweeted Donald Trump Jr in response – and by the sounds of it, most of America is laughing too.

While conservatives like Trump were baffled by the inclusive messaging, liberals found it just as jarring to hear it from an agency notorious for its human rights violations.

Some of these violations were inflicted on queer people, who until relatively recently were “purged” from federal agencies – including the CIA – as they were deemed a threat to national security.

One Twitter user described the ad as “the most serious-looking satirical video I’ve ever seen,” but unfortunately, the CIA was deadly serious. And the internet was having none of it.

The CIA pushed back against the mounting criticism in a statement last week, telling Fox News that the controversial ad proved effective at helping attract candidates to the agency.

“2020 was a standout recruitment year for CIA despite the pandemic,” a CIA spokesman said. “Our 2021 incoming class is the third-largest in a decade.”

Related topics: CIA

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