Hershey’s Canada’s woke “Her for She” campaign debuted an ad on Wednesday in honor of International Women’s Day on March 8 that features on its candy bar wrapper transgender woman Fae Johnstone, a queer, trans and feminist activist who is also a “2SLGBTQUIA+ Advocate.”
The move set Twitter on fire with users blasting Hershey’s over the ad campaign. Many thought it was obscene to use a transgender woman to represent a pro-female celebration.
The short clip shows Johnstone posing with the limited-edition candy bar. She provides a voiceover attempting to explain the lame and offensive inclusivity initiative.
“My name is Fae Johnstone, I’m the executive director of ‘Wisdom to Action.’ We can create a world where everyone is able to live in public space as their honest and authentic selves,” Johnstone declared.
Lots of other chocolate companies to choose from. Bye, Hershey. pic.twitter.com/zHoj5WPPL5
— TallTanOne (@TallTanOne) March 3, 2023
As the ad comes to a conclusion, Johnstone can be seen alongside several biological women laughing. It ends with an invitation for viewers to watch Hershey’s Canada’s International Women’s Day campaign on its website.
“See the women changing how we see the future at Hershey’s Canada,” Johnstone urged.
“We still have a long way to go in the fight to end misogyny, patriarchy and gender-based violence. I hope this campaign helps give more young women and girls role models and possibility models. And shows them how we can be change the world, together,” Johnstone wrote on Twitter.
It “means a lot to be included, as a young(ish?) trans woman,” Johnstone tweeted. “I grew up with few trans role models. Many young trans folks haven’t met a trans adult. I hope this campaign shows trans girls they can dream big and change the world too.”
This is evidently Hershey’s third time rolling out social commentary via uniquely wrapped chocolate bars. The bars will feature the faces of five women selected by the company to represent the campaign. Johnstone was one of them.
“This year’s HER for SHE initiative spotlights five Canadian women … Autumn Peltier, Indigenous Rights and Water Activist; Fae Johnstone, 2SLGBTQIA+ Advocate; Rita Audi, Gender and Education Equality Activist; Naila Moloo, Climate Tech Researcher; and Kélicia Massala, founder of Girl Up Québec,” a press release for Hershey’s Canada announced.
“We value togetherness and recognize the strength created by diversity,” Hershey said in a statement to CNN. “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.”
A number of high-profile conservatives and others who are very vocal on Twitter were not impressed.
Conservative author and transgender movement critic Oli London shredded Hershey and Johnstone, tweeting, “This is a tweet from the new face of HERSHEYS International Women’s Day Campaign – a man who identifies as a woman! The whole ad campaign is designed to uplift women on women’s day- but instead is a complete disrespect to REAL Women!”
The Federalist co-founder and CEO Sean Davis nailed the candy company, “Hershey’s is ‘honoring’ women by featuring delusional, disfigured men on its candy bars. Feel empowered yet, ladies?”
Conservative pundit John Cardillo noted, “This to me is the biggest problem. Women remain silent as they’re reduced to a costume theme.”
#BoycottHersheys was the #1 trending topic on Twitter on Thursday in the United States according to Delish.
Twitter users were incensed over the ad campaign and calls for a boycott rang out along with accusations of misogyny:
Hershey’s is celebrating women by erasing women pic.twitter.com/wVwKkT8Mz3
— End Wokeness (@EndWokeness) March 2, 2023
Good bye Hershey. I loved you for many years. You brought a lot of happiness to my sweet tooth.
Now you’ve gone woke and this is unforgivable. You’ll never ever receive another dollar from me or my family again.
I hope you go bankrupt for your stupidity. This is insane !!! pic.twitter.com/3hHzmVT5xM
— William Sarber (@inTrumpscorner) March 2, 2023
I was born in Hershey, PA. Have eaten and loved their chocolate my whole life.
Never, ever touching another Hershey product until they apologize to actual women for putting a cross dressing man on their candy as a woman. @Hersheys #BoycottHersheys
— Tim Swain (@_TimSwain_) March 3, 2023
What the fuck was Hershey's thinking, using a dude dressed up like a chick to celebrate women on International Women’s Day…?
— Gunther Eagleman™ (@GuntherEagleman) March 2, 2023
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