He hasn’t been canceled, to be clear. He’s just … trans now.
Well, no, not exactly. Trans and gender neutral are two different things.
Either way, all I can think is: Does Mrs. Potato Head know?
I bet she had her suspicions. As one Twitter pal said, “The removable mustache was surely a clue.”
Bloomberg’s write-up makes me think this is less about making Mr. Potato Head — sorry, I mean “Potato Head” — androgynous than about letting kids from nontraditional families build characters who look more like their own parents.
Starting in the fall, Hasbro will sell Potato Head family kits. They’ll come with two non-gendered “adult” potatoes, one “baby” potato and 42 accessories, according to a spokeswoman. That will let kids decide the parents’ gender, rather than being told they are “Mr.” and “Mrs.”
The traditional Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head dolls will still “live on as part of the brand,” the company said, without elaborating.
Fast Company elaborates:
Over the decades, the Potato Head brand has explicitly played into this tendency to create families. It has sold Mr. Potato Head family sets, with a male and a female character, along with smaller potato children. In 2012, Hasbro celebrated the 60th wedding anniversary of Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head with a boxed set featuring the couple. But eight years later, the brand wants to stop leaning so heavily into this traditional family structure. “Culture has evolved,” she says. “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.”
The brand’s solution is to drop the gendered honorific title altogether. This means the toys don’t impose a fixed notion of gender identity or expression, freeing kids to do whatever feels most natural to them: A girl potato might want to wear pants and a boy potato might wear earrings. Hasbro will also sell boxed sets that don’t present a normative family structure. This approach is clever because it allows kids to project their own ideas about gender, sexuality, and family onto the toy, without necessarily offending parents that have more conservative notions about family.
Nearly three percent of Americans identify as gay, lesbian, or transgender, according to Gallup (another 3.1 percent identify as bi), and the Census Bureau estimates that upwards of 200,000 kids live with same-sex parents. That’s one reason for the makeover, to make the toy more accessible to that fraction of the population. Another, of course, is to grab a little free media buzz for a product about which there hasn’t been much to say since it hit the market decades ago. Social conservatives will criticize Hasbro for the move but the company knows that news outlets will react much better. And the third reason for the switch, presumably, is that Hasbro figured the toy was destined to be targeted for cancellation eventually anyway due to being gratuitously “heteronormative.” It seems they decided to get out in front of that and earn some points for being proactive in their tolerance.
Popular reaction will break down into three camps. One: “Stunning and brave.” Two: End of America. Three: Jokes.
The great thing about being a tans potato head is if it changes it's mind it can just reach in its own ass and put the penis back on.
— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) February 25, 2021
What if Potato Head identifies as a squash though?
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) February 25, 2021
Hasbro should also delete the "bro" at the end of their name.
— Jim Antle (@jimantle) February 25, 2021
Some pundits worried that there’d be nothing to talk about once Trump was out of office but today we’re talking about the sexuality of a plastic vegetable, so I’d say The Discourse is doing okay, all things considered. Exit question: Which trans actor will be replacing Don Rickles as the voice of Potato Head in the Toy Story movies going forward?
Update: Wait, does this mean Hasbro is anti-LGBT?
Hold that Tot – your main spud, MR. POTATO HEAD isn’t going anywhere! 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 pic.twitter.com/6I84KrxOLQ
— Hasbro (@Hasbro) February 25, 2021
So the toys are still gendered, only the brand isn’t. Does Hasbro not realize that wokesters will now demand to know why they’re still selling gendered toys?