Skittles’ released an all-white limited edition to celebrate LGBT Pride month. But the move has ignited an Internet debate over what critics call a tone-deaf marketing scheme.
Controversy over a good cause
For the second year in a row, Skittles partnered with British retail chain Tesco, to offer an all-white version of the candy in a black-and-white bag. The vibrant confectionary ditched its classic colors for the 2016 London Pride; following the launch of the #onerainbow campaign.
The Skittles are white this month because, as the message on the back of the bag puts it, “During Pride, only one rainbow matters. So we’ve given up ours to show support.” Reportedly, sales of the all-white Skittles packages also benefit LGBT charities. This year, some social media critics were not so happy with the brand’s all-white campaign. Saying the move erases racial diversity within the LGBT community.
Some other have accused the company of making a political statement supporting white supremacy, as the candies are also all-white.The company hasn’t released any statement about the controversy, and the Internet shows mixed reactions to it. Some people praises the company’s decision to step aside and give the spotlight to the rainbow flag, while others are not having it.
A pride month button ain’t enough
Other Pride Month celebration that received some backlash was Facebook’s “pride” reaction.The social platform released its “pride” reaction button earlier this month, allowing users to respond posts with the rainbow flag.
However, some members of the LGBTQ community consider that the platform still hasn’t done enough to protect transgender users.”We thank Facebook for its efforts to raise support for and visibility of our LGBTQ community during Pride Month,” Kate Kendell, executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, said. “But we also challenge them to amend their policies to better serve our trans family,” she continued.
Facebook lets users choose a custom gender and preferred pronouns, and doesn’t require users to provide a “legal” name. But it still requires some users to verify their name with identification, a policy that can expose transgender people on the site.When asked to provide further identification or get off the site. Transgender users can be forced to reveal their identity by using the name they were born with.
However, Facebook told Fortune it doesn’t have data on how many users are currently asked to provide further identification, though acknowledged users can be asked to show IDs.