#BoycottHersheys Campaign Goes Viral, Company Accused of Erasing Women

boycotthersheys
(Screenshot via Youtube/Hershey's Canada)

March 2, 2023

Hershey Canada’s International Women’s Day campaign was met with ire and criticism after the company decided to include Fae Johnstone, a transgender woman, on chocolate bar wrappers with four women. Johnstone is a professional LGBTQ+ advocate and award-winning activist, according to Forbes. In response, #BoycottHersheys began to trend on Twitter.

Johnstone, who goes by “they/she,” is Canada’s 2019 Youth Award winner. He is described as “a nonbinary and transfeminine educator, organizer, writer and trouble-maker based on unceded, unsurrendered Algonquin Territory (Ottawa, ON).”

“As a 25 year old trans woman of South Asian heritage with lived experience,” Johnstone writes, “my work comes from a place of understanding that my communities (trans/2-spirit/gender non-conforming, sex-working and/or drug-using) are at the highest risk of violence.”

Two-spirit refers to the Native American term meaning “third gender.”

On Wednesday, Johnstone announced her participation in Hershey’s campaign saying, “I hope this campaign helps give more young women and girls role models and possibility models.”

Shortly after, #BoycottHersheys began trending on Twitter, with notable accounts such as @LeftismForU encouraging its followers to get the hashtag trending to first place.

Oli London, a British influencer who began his detransition from a “Korean woman” called the campaign a “disrespect to real women.” He also included a screenshot of a tweet by Johnstone that advocated for “trans-exclusionary radical feminists” to be “vilified” and “shut down.”

A year ago, Hershey celebrated women’s day without pandering to transgenders, writing, “Girls rule. Who are the women and girls in your life you’re celebrating? CelebrateSHE.”

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