UPDATED 8:10 p.m. ET: Ancestry.com has pulled their Civil War-era commercial, BuzzFeed News reports. The company has also apologized for the advertisement.
"Ancestry is committed to telling important stories from history," they said in a statement. "This ad was intended to represent one of those stories. We very much appreciate the feedback we have received and apologize for any offense that the ad may have caused."
See original story below.
Ancestry released a commercial earlier this month titled "Inseparable," set in the South during the Civil War. The storyline the company featured has sparked backlash among people online, many saying Ancestry is exploiting black history as a marketing ploy.
In the ad, a white man runs alongside his lover, a black woman named Abigail, and tells her that he knows of a place across the border where they can escape to and be together. As Abigail begins to say "I don't know," the man interrupts her and asks, "Will you leave with me?"
The video then cuts to a blank screen with the text "without you, the story stops here." Ancestry has been accused of making light of a horrific period in American history, and using the plight of African Americans to sell subscriptions to their site.