Nate Jackson / February 26, 2021

Mashed Potato Head

Hasbro announced and then clarified a “woke” branding decision on its classic toy.

Mr. Potato Head has officially joined the pantheon of canceled American icons. Along with Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben, and sports franchises like the Redskins and the Indians, the “Mr.” in Potato Head has been deemed culturally insensitive and dropped by Hasbro “to promote gender equality and inclusion.”

HasBRO. Oops!

To be fair, Hasbrx (there, we fixed it) didn’t entirely cancel its own product. “Hold that Tot — your main spud, MR. POTATO HEAD isn’t going anywhere!” the company announced in a statement Thursday. “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.”

So it’s a branding tweak and not a full-on cancellation. For now.

It’s not as if the toymaker hasn’t been on the forefront of some “woke” decisions, though. In 2019, Hasbro released “Ms. Monopoly” (trigger warning!) that offered a unique spin on the original game: Female players got an extra $40 for passing “Go” to draw attention to the phony gender wage gap. If women make $0.77 on a man’s dollar (they don’t), the toymaker reasoned, why not give them a hand?

And really, what better toy for the gender confused than a Potato Head? Want blue eyelashes with a mustache and a purse? He’s your man It’s your tuber. This fall, Hasbro will even release a new gender-neutral “Potato Family Pack.” Why? “Culture has evolved,” says Kimberly Boyd, the senior vice president of global brands and general manager at Hasbro. “Kids want to be able to represent their own experiences. The way the brand currently exists — with the ‘Mr.’ and ‘Mrs.’ — is limiting when it comes to both gender identity and family structure.”

Rich Ferraro, the chief communications officer for the Rainbow Mafia leader Glaad, cheered on this change as part of “a larger movement towards greater diversity and inclusion in toys and media aimed at kids.”

Yes, and “aiming at kids” is exactly what we warned about yesterday with the increasing number of Americans identifying as LGBT.

Mr. Clean, Mr. Coffee, and Mrs. Butterworth — you’re next.

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