Hershey’s, the popular chocolate brand, is facing boycott calls on social media after the brand decided to include a transgender woman in its International Women’s Day advertising campaign in Canada.
The promo was to announce that the chocolate manufacturer was bringing back its SHE bar for a third time on March 1. The attempt by Hershey’s was to “shine a light on the women and girls who inspire us every day.” The SHE bar has been renamed the HER bar in Canada. Part of its promotional campaign included five women, including Fae Johnstone, a transgender rights activist.
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Although Johnstone said that they were honored to be featured, not everyone saw it that way. “I grew up with few trans role models. Many young trans folks haven’t met a trans adult,” Johnstone wrote on Twitter. “I hope this campaign shows trans girls they can dream big and change the world too.”
The chocolate's out of the wrapper!
Honoured to be featured in this campaign by @Hersheys Canada for #InternationalWomensDay alongside 4 brilliant sisters and change-makers. https://t.co/0s9uh8MvHv pic.twitter.com/jdXNJfcZmo
— Fae Johnstone, MSW (@FaeJohnstone) March 1, 2023
There was much outrage about their inclusion in the campaign for a day that celebrated women worldwide. Here are some of the reactions:
You get the feeling that these companies *always* despised women — they were just waiting for the right moment to stick it to us.
Here's the thing about real women, @Hersheys:
We have long memories. https://t.co/rfgTlRH4ar
— Abigail Shrier (@AbigailShrier) March 2, 2023
This is not your month. It was not your fight. It was not your sacrifice. Erasing biological women isn’t being inclusive, it’s gender appropriation. Your struggles are your own, celebrate them. #FuckHersheys
#GoWokeGoBroke#WomensHistoryMonth #BoycottHersheys pic.twitter.com/qhACLeUTBd
— Red (@PutIdentityHere) March 2, 2023
No matter what HimHe is wrapped in, HimHe is not a HerShe, and never will be.
It's International Women's Day, not International Men Who Pretend To Be Women Day.#WomenAreBornNotWorn#WomensHistoryMonth#BoycottHersheys pic.twitter.com/sP03QHlaed
— ƬЄƛƓƛƝ ƦЄƖԼԼƳ🍸 (@velvethammer) March 2, 2023
#BoycottHersheys #boycottHershey put a real woman in your ads. Not a biological male, pretending to be a woman. pic.twitter.com/x9idu8iqLt
— Jay (@RowdyJay18) March 2, 2023
Weird how @Hersheys couldn’t find real women to sell their herSHE product on #InternationalWomensDay. #whatisawoman #BoycottHersheys
— Coco 🇺🇸 (@CoClarified) March 2, 2023
There are 3.9 billion females out there and Hersheys decided to pick a misogynist dude for International Women’s Day.#BoycottHersheys pic.twitter.com/tloUGhBsYx
— Li Ern (@RealLiErn) March 2, 2023
Transgender rights have always been a polarizing topic in the US and in recent years, the division has only gotten stronger. A 2022 Pew Research Center survey found that 38 percent of Americans believe society had more than far enough in accepting transgender people. Meanwhile, 36 percent said it had not gone far enough.
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However, there were those who stood in support of the campaign, slamming those on the opposing side for speaking out against the promo. There was also a consensus among the supporters that most of the people criticizing the campaign were Republicans.
The people trying to #BoycottHersheys are literally the same folks celebrating SCOTUS reversing Roe v Wade.
Don't act like you give a fuck about the "erasure of women" when you cheer their rights being stripped.
— Jeh (@hovdog) March 2, 2023
Those on the Right, who claim to be against "cancel culture," are now calling to #BoycottHersheys because they are pissed off that Hershey's decided to include a trans-woman in their recent ad.
The right and left both cancel companies and people but, the https://t.co/mSckk6BD0v… https://t.co/wG56V068jv
— Brian Krassenstein (@krassenstein) March 2, 2023