Hershey’s decision to include a transgender woman in a Canadian advertising campaign promoting Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day on March 8 has sparked backlash on social media with some users calling for people to boycott the company’s products.
The chocolate manufacturer brought back its limited-edition Hershey’s SHE bars for a third year on March 1 to “honor the influential women and girls who make an impact on our lives,” the Pennsylvania-based company said in a statement. “The Hershey’s SHE bars serve as a heartwarming reminder to take a moment and shine a light on the women and girls who inspire us every day.”
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An image of each one of the women selected will appear on the five different versions of the SHE bar.
In Canada, the candy bar is being branded as HER. One of the five chosen to appear on the Canadian version of the candy bar is Fae Johnstone, a transgender woman, and activist, according to Newsweek.
“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.”
Johnson’s involvement in the ad campaign has sparked a strong reaction. Some have accused Hershey of expressing hatred of biological women. A Twitter hashtag #BoycottHersheys was at the No. 1 spot in the U.S. on Thursday. In Canada, it was trending at No. 16.
The hashtag #GoWokeGoBroke was trending on the social media platform as well. Adopted by conservatives, it expresses the view that corporations that embrace a leftist agenda of political correctness, or cave to the demands of social justice activists, will suffer financially as a result.
“You get the feeling that these companies *always* despised women — they were just waiting for the right moment to stick it to us,” Abigail Shrier, author of Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters, tweeted. “Here’s the thing about real women, Hersheys: we have long memories.”
“When a fake woman is in a tv commercial & the young people in my family ask what that is, I tell them that it is an abomination,” one user posted.
Another user wrote, “So lets have a trans woman (man) representing women on International Womens Day. You couldn’t make it up. Well I suppose men are winning all the women category sports sections now so whats the difference.”
And another user simply noted, “Women deserve better.”
CBN News reached out to Hershey for comment. The company replied but essentially ignored the controversy at the same time.
Instead, they issued a statement saying, “We value togetherness and recognize the strength created by diversity. Over the past three years, our Women’s History Month programming has been an inclusive celebration of women and their impact. We appreciate the countless people and meaningful partnerships behind these efforts. – The Hershey Company.”
Other notable corporations have tried to instill woke themes in their products, pitching liberal political causes. As CBN News reported in November, Walt Disney Co.’s controversial animated film Strange World proved to be a dud right out of the gate.
The production, which carried a reported $180 million budget, grossed just $18.6 million in ticket sales in its first five days and $11.9 million over the Thanksgiving weekend in North American theaters.
Some Hollywood insiders as well as several Disney fans tried to blame the studio’s marketing effort, led by former CEO Bob Chapek, saying it was poorly done and as a result led to its bleak opening.
Others used the box office numbers as an example of the expression “Get Woke, Go Broke.”
Parents in particular have noted the rise in LGBTQ themes in all of Disney’s content over the last several years.
In 2021, a conservative consumer advocacy group known as Consumers’ Research spent $1 million on an advertising campaign to remind companies like Nike, Coca-Cola, and American Airlines to serve their customers, not woke politicians.
An April 2021 poll from The Hill/HarrisX found that 61% of registered voters believe it’s “not appropriate for corporations to engage in political speech.” Only 39% said it’s appropriate for corporations to be involved in political speech, according to The Daily Wire.
But why would corporations be willing to take political stands that could cost them business? Critics say it’s either because they believe strongly in the political agenda they’re pushing, or because they don’t believe it will backfire.
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