AARP executive on ‘OK boomer’: ‘Okay, millennials, but we’re the people that actually have the money’
By Lateshia Beachum
Nov 13, 2019 | 2:51 PM
A senior vice president at AARP, formerly known as the Association of American Retired Persons, appeared to provide a retort to the "OK boomer" phrase that's taken millennials and Gen Z by storm: "Okay, millennials, but we're the people that actually have the money."
Myrna Blyth, 80, who also serves as editorial director of AARP media, said her remarks in a recent interview with Axios about her group's print and digital presence.
Blyth's comment referenced the popular meme that young online users post to dismiss the criticisms of older generations. The phrase 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 her Swarbrick for her nimble wit and others accusing her of ageism.
Millennials weren't pleased with Blyth's rejoinder and have tweeted their frustration about her perceived "tone deaf" comments about millennial finances.
"How is a person in that position this tone deaf? Way to be the arrogant, condescending face of what people hate about your generation, Boomer."
"uh yeah @myrnablyth that's part of why we don't like you"
"The cruelty is the point with people like @MyrnaBlyth . WHY DO YOU THINK YOU ACTUALLY HAVE THE MONEY, MYRNA?"
"@MyrnaBlyth You are so blithely unaware that it is Millennials that are going to suffer because of your generations failed policies and reckless behavior. Don't worry, Hun, we'll keep working our 60+ hours a week to pay for your SS Checks!"
But according to AARP, Blyth's quote was taken out of context.
"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.
Axios did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
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 to previous generations, income for married millennial households has risen.