Who is Mr. Potato Head and why is he at the center of a big controversy? Why are people offended by Mr. Potato Head? Who is offended by Mr. Potato Head? One would smile if one knew how harmless and loved Mr. Potato Head is and what he means to children all over the world. After having won the hearts of millions of kids and their parents for decades how come suddenly Mr. Potato Head offensive? Why is a beloved vegetable making people upset and what is this controversy all about?
Who is Mr. Potato Head?
For those who came in late let us tell you who Mr. Potato Head is in the first place. Mr. Potato Head is a hugely popular American toy figure made up of a plastic model of a potato “head” to which you can attach a variety of parts such as eyes, a nose, ears, shoes, hats, pants, and a mouth. It is an iconic toy that was invented, developed, and popularised by George Lerner in 1949 before it was acquired by the toy company Hasbro in 1952. Since then it has been manufactured and distributed by Hasbro all over America and other parts of the world. It would be true to say that the average American kid’s life would not be complete unless he or she has not played with Mr. Potato Head and his family in their childhood.
What is the Issue with Mr. Potato Head?
For years there was no problem with calling this toy figure Mr. Potato Head but in the last few years ever since the gender-neutral philosophy has become widespread, there has been a controversy surrounding it. People who believe that calling a figure Mr. or Mrs. gives them a forced identity and confines them to their gender have been criticizing the company for not being sensitive to the changing times. The thought that a family is normal only when there are a Mr. and Mrs. Is upsetting people who believe that children should not be forced to accept gender rigidity. They have been saying that Hasbro should change the name of the toy figure and accept that their thinking is not reflective of gender status in the new world of today.
Company Acknowledges Changing Times
Hasbro has now agreed to make changes in their product. They have decided to rename the brand and drop the “Mr.” from the name. From now on it will be called only “Potato Head” and kids will be free to have two dads or two moms in their toy families. Hasbro is making this change after excruciating pressure from gender-neutral activists who have steadily grown powerful over the last three decades in particular.
A Meaningful Name Change
Hasbro released an official statement stating “While it was announced today that the POTATO HEAD brand name & logo are dropping the “MR.” I am proud to confirm that MR. AND MRS. POTATO HEAD aren’t going anywhere and will remain MR. AND MRS. POTATO HEAD.” Hasbro has said that only the brand is changing and the actual toy figures will continue to be sold in the stores nationwide and worldwide. Is Potato Head going to be banned? No way! There is no anger against the toy figure itself. The Potato Head controversy is only about the name which is now being changed.
Potato Head is Much Loved!
The product Potato Head will very much stay a staple part of the kids’ play world everywhere and this loved toy figure will continue to entertain and educate kids all over the world in the future as well. The only change is that the “MR.” will be dropped. Toys reflect the society and the world around us which is always changing and trying to evolve. Now that gender-neutral language and nomenclature have become so important not just Hasbro but other toy companies will also have to be extra careful and sensitive to people’s opinions. Potato Head has nothing to do with this huge controversy. It’s because it has so much influence over kids that people have taken this issue so seriously. Rest assured, Potato Head will live on long after this controversy dies down!