June 14, 2017
Brands all around the globe are stepping up to embrace the celebration of Pride Month with special promotions and rainbow-inspired social media campaigns.
Skittles finds itself in something of an odd Pride Month predicament. For a candy whose slogan is "Taste the Rainbow," the simplest and safest approach might logically be to stand pat and give a hearty show of support for the LGBTQ community on social media.
But for the second year in a row, Mars, Inc. decided to roll the dice on a campaign that features limited edition all-white candies. The well-intentioned promotion is explained in the display shown below.
Some on social media interpreted the gesture as a subtly racist misfire.
I dont think skittles thought through the LGBT pride campaign..— Pink Thunder (@AltFfore) June 1, 2017
Releasing all white sweets during "pride"..
The jokes write themselves
Also do white Skittles feel a little racist to anyone?— Esther R (@polyeaster) June 14, 2017
Skittles realized how white/capitalist PRIDE was becoming and wanted to join in the efforts. Interesting. https://t.co/HIHZDYslxN— GIA (@juniperangelica) March 31, 2017
These White Supremacy Skittles are brilliant.— Jordan Walton (@Jaysgba) May 24, 2017
Wow, where is the all black Skittles? This is absolutely disgusting, a prime example of everyday white washing and I will NOT stand for it 😡 https://t.co/uVSY9ZFOtr— filet-o-ishaq 🏆 (@IshaqKai) March 31, 2017
using the LGBT committee as a cover to practice racism in plain sight.. why couldn't it have been white AND black skittles? 🤔 https://t.co/vK6dcH4JUS— Oh-Knee 🖤 (@onlyonyiii) March 31, 2017
@Skittles yall better start making black an white skittles for pride or people are gonna keep thinking you're company is racist— trigger fest (@DreadHeadMcgee) May 4, 2017
Many others, sizing up the backlash as feigned outrage, were unwilling to feed into it and came to Skittles' defense.
I don't see it promoting white supremacy tbh. Marshawn would still eat 'em. #skittles— Sarah (@EternallyPurple) June 14, 2017
#skittles Loving these new Ku Klux Klan style Skittles. All white and pure... Said nobody but triggered idiots. Putin, pull the trigger pal— Scott Bowman ⚒ (@ScottyBowman6) June 14, 2017
Chill people, not everything is secretly white supremacy in play. BS #skittles shd be white & BLACK - other races dont matter. Hmm???— H (@haitchy_c) June 14, 2017
This isn't the first time Skittles — a candy you'd have to be missing a heart not to love — has landed in the middle of a controversy surrounding race and nationality.
During the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump Jr. tweeted a photo of a bowl of Skittles with a caption that read, "If I had a bowl of Skittles and I told you three would kill you, would you take a handful? That’s our Syrian refugee problem.”
There's a reason the image is no longer displayed in the tweet: the licensed photo was taken by a refugee who fled Cyprus during the Turkish occupation in 1974. The man, now living in Britain, said he'd never take Trump's money to use the photo.