The CIA recently launched an updated recruitment website to boost the agency's efforts to draw in a more diverse workforce. But the "Humans of CIA" video ad series launched in 2019 to complement those efforts—including the latest one last week—has captured the attention of conservatives, and they're not happy with the ads' "wokeness," per the Guardian. One video in particular, posted at the end of March on YouTube, is drawing ire. It shows a Latina intel officer proudly strolling through CIA headquarters and noting, "I am a woman of color. I am a mom. I am a cisgender millennial who's been diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder. I am intersectional, but my existence is not a box-checking exercise." The CIA says in a statement to Fox News that the ads appear to have made an impact, as "2020 was a standout recruitment year for [the] CIA despite the pandemic."
But some are rolling their eyes, including GOP Sen. Ted Cruz, per Insider. "If you're a Chinese communist, or an Iranian Mullah, or Kim Jong Un ... would this scare you?" he tweeted in response to the March video. Donald Trump Jr. also weighed in. "China & Russia are laughing their asses off watching CIA go full woke," he tweeted. Some on the left, meanwhile, are accusing the agency of using said wokeness to whitewash its own eyebrow-raising history. Larry Pfeiffer, a former CIA chief of staff, has a message, however, for Cruz, Trump, and others scoffing at the ad. "I would suggest that if you don't like it, you are probably not whom the ad is targeting for employment," Pfeiffer tweeted Monday. "Strength from diversity." A retired senior CIA officer had a similar take, though he noted there's a "ways to go." "Diversity is an operational advantage," he wrote. "Simple as that. ... Agency needs to push Diversity efforts to win, not to be 'woke.'" (Read more CIA stories.)