Aubrey Plaza's Wood Milk Ad Is Under Fire For Being Too Pro-Dairy

Channeling her best impersonation of Ron Swanson from NBC's sitcom "Parks and Recreation," a new ad starring Aubrey Plaza for the dairy industry marketing firm Milk Processor Education Program (MilkPEP) is stirring up some pulpy controversy. The campaign, which aired on April 20 across multiple social media channels and the Wood Milk website, features the "The White Lotus" star clad in a designer Paul Bunyan flannel and puffy vest pondering the question, "Have you ever looked at a tree and thought, 'Can I drink this?'" Before taking a pregnant pause and answering, "I did."

Plaza plays the co-founder of the fictitious company Wood Milk which, you guessed it, makes milk from wood. The video is a parody of the successful 1993 "Got Milk" slogan, also from MilkPEP, with the new tagline "Got Wood." During the video, Plaza introduces the wood orchard where the milk is "squished into a slime that's legal to sell," wryly delivering her lines in the deadpan style the actress is known for.

The 65-second video is a spoof on "artisanal" dairy alternatives, complete with the signature wood shavings-filled milk mustache on the actress' upper lip after Plaza takes an audible, hard gulp of wood milk. However, the 3.7 million viewers who have watched the campaign so far are splintered, with some calling Plaza a "dairy propagandist" for her "covert ad for the dairy industry."

Wood Milk is 100% fake

Wood Milk's ad states, "Only real [dairy] milk is real," irritating non-dairy and plant-based milk consumers, and ends with, "Is your milk real?" Speaking with The Drum, MilkPEP CEO Yin Woon Rani said, "Wood Milk is a fun and comedic way to highlight the power of real dairy milk. [The campaign] is designed to encourage consumers to educate themselves on their beverage options and the differences in the nutritional profiles within."

Some people voiced their outrage against the ad's star, Aubrey Plaza, on Twitter, posting, "Plaza working on an ad paid for by the dairy industry to make fun of plant-based milks since more people have realized the impact large scale dairy farming has on the planet, and aren't buying their products is ... f'd up tbh." Others have taken it upon themselves to "educate" Plaza on the environmental impact of the dairy industry by commenting on the actress' unrelated Instagram posts since Plaza turned off the comments feature on the Wood Milk post, calling her "gross and out of touch."

Naturally, some people appreciated the humor, and fans have come to Plaza's defense on TikTok, commenting, "Aubrey makes every decision in my life" and noting that the website's FAQs are "hilarious." The outrage seems disproportionate when considering those FAQs warn consumers that Wood Milk may contain termites and can cause splinters in your tummy, leaving us to ponder, "If a tree falls in the forest, can you milk it? Yes. Yes, you can."