Metro Weekly

Skittles Causes a Conservative Conniption

Conservatives lash out at Skittles after the company's annual Pride Month collab goes viral online.

Skittles Pride 2023 – Photo: Mars Wrigley

Conservatives have called for a boycott of Skittles after the candy promoted Pride Month on its packaging.

Every June, since 2020, Skittles, manufactured by candy giant Mars, Inc., has released a limited-edition pack of the fruit-flavored candy in honor of Pride Month.

The limited-edition candies are devoid of color and come in special wrappers designed by LGBTQ artists. One dollar of every sale (up to $100,000) is donated to GLAAD. 

The 2023 theme for the packaging is “There’s a story in every rainbow,” and the wrappers were created by five LGBTQ identified artists — Shanée Benjamin, Mady G, Symone Salib, Bianca Xunise, and Zipeng Zhu.

Inside, a neutral, grey-colored candy is designed to convey that “only one rainbow matters” during Pride — the rainbow of LGBTQ people.

Conservatives recently learned about the candy brand celebrating Pride Month and have begun falsely posting that the candy brand is “pushing medical transitions on children,” by raising money for GLAAD.

Oli London, an online personality known for his multiple plastic surgery procedures, was one of the loudest voices against the candy brand calling them “notorious.”

“Skittles is raising money with each sale of their new ‘Pride it Forward’ kids candies for notorious LGBTQI+ lobby group GLAAD,” London’s post read alongside pictures of the packaging with the words “Black Trans Lives Matter” on the wrapper. “The organization is one of the leading and most powerful LGBT groups pushing for medical transitions on children.”

This accusation is untrue, as GLAAD works to “ensure fair, accurate, and inclusive representation” of LGBTQ people in the media according to their website. The non-profit supports gender-affirming care and equal rights for trans and nonbinary youth but is not a political group pushing for medical transitions for children.

Despite this, other conservatives joined the conversation online, calling the candy “woke.”

Libs of TikTok, a conservative social media account, posted a picture of the candy on the site formerly known as Twitter with the caption, “Skittles is trying to turn your kids into BLM & LGBTQ+ activists. Their packaging also features a drag queen. Skittles have gone completely woke.”

Some conservatives have begun to call for a boycott of Skittles and other Mars products for their support of the LGBTQ community. Bud Light had a similar issue a few months ago after a sponsored video with transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney triggered conservatives to stop buying the beer. 

This does not seem to have any impact on Mars’ choice to highlight LGBTQ issues. In early June, the company issued a statement highlighting Pride Month and its support for the LGBTQ community with testimonies from LGBTQ people about their experiences. 

“We believe in the power of inclusion and the importance of celebrating diversity,” the statement read. “As we commemorate Pride Month, we are committed to supporting the LGBTQ+ community and creating an environment where all our Associates can thrive and be their authentic selves.”

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