So Now The Aubrey Plaza Wood Milk Ad Apparently Violated Federal Law

Unless you've been living under a rock — or maybe under a log — you've probably heard about one of Got Milk?'s latest ads featuring Aubrey Plaza promoting a product called wood milk. In the commercial, "The White Lotus" actor is seen wearing full lumberjack attire, prancing around Wood Milk Orchards, and enlightening viewers on the process of how wood milk is made, AKA "squished into a slime that's legal to sell." Toward the end of the ad, Plaza states that wood milk is not real and that "only real milk is real."

Now, Plaza's Wood Milk ad is in hot water. According to a new complaint filed by the Physician's Committee, a group that promotes public health, the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service acted wrongly and illegally when it approved the Wood Milk ad, stating that it is "mocking plant milk" and infringes on federal laws preventing companies from portraying such products negatively (via press release published on Business Wire).

Aubrey Plaza's Wood Milk Ad has been controversial from the beginning

While making fun of plant-based milks is being depicted as a big no-no here, the Wood Milk ad is in trouble for more than that. According to the press release, the ad was released around the same time as a legislation suggesting that plant-based milks be officially permitted to use the word "milk" on their packaging, and, apparently, there is a law prohibiting USDA monies from being spent to sway such potential legislation.

This isn't the first time Plaza's Wood Milk ad has hit backlash, as critics seemed to line up almost immediately as soon as it originally hit the screens. Delaware Online reports that many fans took to Plaza's Instagram post featuring the ad to share their grievances, so much so that the comments on the post were eventually disabled. Some shared their concerns that Plaza didn't care about the effect dairy farming is having on climate change while others cited animal rights concerns.

As for the legal complaint, Neal Barnard, President of the Physician's Committee, said of the Wood Milk ad in a statement, "It is one thing for it to promote cow's milk. It is quite another thing to mock the products that many nonwhite Americans choose for health reasons."