Blyth’s comment referenced the popular meme young online users post to dismiss the criticisms of older generations.
Millennials were not pleased with Blyth’s rejoinder and have tweeted their frustration about her perceived “tone deaf” comments about millennial finances.
But according to AARP, Blyth’s quote was taken out of context on social media, especially on Twitter.
“Blyth’s point is that ad and marketing execs routinely pit generations against one another and overlook older people, especially older women,” said AARP’s media relations editorial manager, Colby Nelson, in a statement.
Nelson said AARP deeply cares about intergenerational issues and income inequality. The social media rebuke of Blyth’s quote, however, was swift.
“Ok, boomer” has received a resurgence in popularity last month when 25-year-old New Zealand lawmaker Chlöe Swarbrick used the tagline in response to being heckled by a colleague during remarks about climate change. That moment went viral, with social media citizens praising Swarbrick for her nimble wit and others accusing her of ageism.
Under Blyth, AARP’s materials are one of the most widely consumed in the country, raking in $38.6 million from its print and digital presence, Axios reported. AARP targets the 50-plus demographic that does hold much of the nation’s wealth.
Millennials have slightly less wealth than the boomer generation did when they were the same age, partly because of debt, according to a February Pew report.
A Federal Reserve report published last November had similar findings but noted that while individual millennial income is lower compared with previous generations, income for married millennial households has risen.