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.
How woke and pathetic is it that Mr Potato Head is having a name change to just Potato Head so it’s classed as gender neutral 🤷🏼♂️🤷🏼♂️ worlds gone mad! pic.twitter.com/o3ImMk7Db6
— matthew (@mattybooboo75) February 25, 2021
NEW – Mr. Potato Head is no longer a mister.
Hasbro has agreed to neuter gender Mr. Potato Head so kids can create "same-sex families." From now on "they" will be known as Potato Head.
The change will appear on
boxes this year…🤔
WORLD GONE MAD…
— 🍁Miss🍁 (@themadsloth) February 26, 2021
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.
Hold that Tot – your main spud, MR. POTATO HEAD isn’t going anywhere! While it was announced today that the POTATO HEAD brand name & logo are dropping the ‘MR.’ I yam proud to confirm that MR. & MRS. POTATO HEAD aren’t going anywhere and will remain MR. & MRS. POTATO HEAD pic.twitter.com/6I84KrxOLQ
— Hasbro (@Hasbro) February 25, 2021
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?
#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!
— bettemidler (@BetteMidler) March 2, 2021
Read some reactions to the Mr Potato Head controversy:
The people who think cancel culture is out of control are about to boycott Mr. Potato Head.
— Susie Meister (@susie_meister) February 26, 2021
Cis people: Trans people make such a big deal about gender, it's just biology
Also cis people: THEY RE-BRANDED MR POTATO HEAD?! How am I supposed to know which potatoes are boys and which are girls!? This is an OUTRAGE
— Katy Montgomerie 🦗 (@KatyMontgomerie) February 26, 2021
reminder that this mr potato head shite was completely fabricated by the media and was nothing but hasbro rebranding a product.
They know that by implying it was bcos of the transgender/non binary community, it would fuel more hatred towards them and more clicks on their site.
— Joe (@Jeardz__) February 26, 2021
a lot of people are upset that mr potato head, a plastic toy based on a vegetable is now genderless.
get. a. life.
— Alex Elmslie (@ImAllexx) February 26, 2021
Image Credit: Hasbro