The Hershey Company is celebrating women by promoting a biological man.
The hashtag “BoycottHersheys” was trending on Twitter Thursday after the chocolate manufacturer included a man who identifies as transgender as part of its International Women’s Day promotion.
Fae Johnstone is one of five people featured in the campaign, which uses the Hershey’s SHE bar to “shine a light on the women and girls who inspire us every day.”
“The chocolate’s out of the wrapper! Honoured to be featured in this campaign by [Hershey’s] Canada for #InternationalWomensDay alongside 4 brilliant sisters and change-makers,” Johnstone posted alongside the video promo on Twitter.
The chocolate’s out of the wrapper!
Honoured to be featured in this campaign by @Hersheys Canada for #InternationalWomensDay alongside 4 brilliant sisters and change-makers. https://t.co/0s9uh8MvHv pic.twitter.com/jdXNJfcZmo
— Fae Johnstone, MSW (@FaeJohnstone) March 1, 2023
“We still have a long way to go in the fight to end misogyny, patriarchy and gender-based violence,” the LGBTQ activist shared in a follow-up. “I hope this campaign helps give more young women and girls role models and possibility models. And shows them how we can change the world, together.”
“We can create a world where everyone is able to live in public space as their honest and authentic selves,” Johnstone says in the clip.
Calls for boycotts came from conservatives and feminists who objected to a biological man being used for the International Women’s Day campaign.
“You get the feeling that these companies *always* despised women — they were just waiting for the right moment to stick it to us,” author Abigail Shrier tweeted. “Here’s the thing about real women, [Hershey’s]: We have long memories.”
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“There are 3.9 billion females out there and Hersheys decided to pick a misogynist dude for International Women’s Day,” another person shared.
This is the third year the international chocolate company has run the same female-focused campaign. In a press release, Hershey’s shared more details.
“We are excited to reintroduce the Hershey’s SHE bars in new, meaningful ways as part of Hershey’s larger commitment to supporting women and girls this Women’s History Month and every month,” brand manager Katie DeCapria said of the program re-launch.
“This bar, with 200+ thoughtful adjectives created with our partners Girls on the Run, reminds us to take a moment to honor the women and girls who inspire us every day. We hope to spark meaningful, heartwarming connections through the simple gesture of giving a SHE bar to someone who has played an important role in your life.”