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All You Need To Know About The Mr Potato Head Controversy

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Mr Potato Head controversy: He is the latest celebrity to have stirred the pot on social media. Why not? It’s 2021 and anything’s possible. Ever since toy multinational Hasbro announced the iconic figurine would now go “genderless,” there has been an online outcry rallying for the restoration of Mr Potato Head to his original form and gender.

Except, it was all much ado about nothing. Hasbro in a statement clarified that the iconic moustached spud would not be going anywhere. A new game set called ‘Create Your Potato Head Family’ is only being added to the line later this year, which will allow children to settle on the identities of the potatoes by choice.

The reaction, however, to changes being introduced in one of America’s favourite toy lines has been generally strong on social media. Read an opinion on the un-gendering of Mr Potato Head.

A Timeline Of The Mr Potato Head Controversy People Can’t Stop Talking About:

1. On Thursday, gaming and toy giant Hasbro Inc said it was renaming its popular product to make it more inclusive. Various reports initially said the former mister would now be known as only ‘Potato Head.’ A statement on the website also read: “Hasbro is officially renaming the MR. POTATO HEAD brand to POTATO HEAD to better reflect the full line.”

2. This sounded alarms on claims the company would give its original legacy product an altogether different identity. Mr and Mrs Potato Head, since the 1960s, have been the company’s mainstay, front-of-the-line characters, identified as a heterosexual couple given their titles. However, many say the products are inherently not gender-based at all.

3. Netizens raised questions over changes in iconic products in a bid for more inclusivity while some others condemned it as a publicity gimmick. Debates around Hasbro’s “dropping” of the Mr title kicked up a storm on social media.

Mr Potato Head controversy kicks up a social media storm

4. By afternoon, Hasbro cleared the rumours in a tweet that said, “your main spud, MR. POTATO HEAD isn’t going anywhere!” adding to the statement that these characters will be joined by a new set called ‘Create Your Potato Head Family’ launching this fall. It would come with an assortment of detachable body parts and three slate-clean plastic potatoes (two adults and a baby), to give children room to create diverse family units.

5. Many on social media are now raising doubts over Hasbro’s claims of “inclusivity,” since it is being seen as a turnaround on the company’s part to first announce a “renaming” and then clarifying that the genderless variation would only come as an addition to the gendered potato head.

6. On March 3, actor-singer Bette Middler took to Twitter to comment on the Mr Potato Head controversy. “#Hasbro announced they are removing “Mr.” from Mr. Potato Head’s label, but that Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head will still exist. I can’t believe people are worried about THAT, when what they SHOULD be worried about is how you store a bunch of dismembered body parts in the potato’s ass!” she tweeted.

The 75-year-old’s tweet has yet again sparked a round of conversation about toy company Hasbro’s decision to go gender-neutral. Like Middler many people wondered whether the conversation around Hasbro’s decision was going in the right direction at all?

Read some reactions to the Mr Potato Head controversy:

Image Credit: Hasbro