Right-wingers are threatening to boycott yet another brand – this time, it’s Skittles

A set of Skittles packets in a supermarket, both red and green packets are on display.

Anti-LGBTQ+ right-wingers have found their boycott target of the week after Skittles revealed a pro-LGBTQ+ and Black Lives Matter (BLM) promotional campaign.

As part of its Pride Month celebration, the fruit-flavoured sweet brand, which is owned by Mars Incorporated, released a set of promotional wrappers celebrating LGBTQ+ and marginalised groups.

“We’re partnered with LGBTQ+ artists to design and release five limited-edition Skittles packs that tell visuals stories of Pride,” a statement announcing the campaign read.

“We’ll donate $1 for every Pride pack sold – up to $100,000 – to GLAAD to back their ongoing efforts to work through media to support the LGBTQ+ community.”

The ‘taste the rainbow’ sweet brand announced the promotion in association with GLAAD in May, continuing it through to June, but several anti-LGBTQ+ pundits called for a boycott after discovering the campaign.

Right-wing social media account Libs of TikTok posted on Friday (11 August) accusing Skittles of going “completely woke” with a packet celebrating trans joy and Black Lives Matter.

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The packaging in question shows six people hanging out at a skate park, and on the ramp is written “Black Trans Lives Matter” and “Joy is Resistance”.

Account owner Chaya Raichik claimed that the sweet brand is “trying to turn your kids into BLM & LGBTQ+ activists”, adding that the Pride packaging “also features a drag queen”.

Outraged right-wingers subsequently called for a boycott of the sweets – yet another in a long list of boycotts anti-LGBTQ+ groups and pundits have threatened in 2023.

One of the biggest from this year was the wave of backlash against Bud Light and its parent company, Anheuser-Busch, after it provided trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney with a personalised can celebrating the one-year anniversary of her ‘Days of Girlhood’ TikTok series.

In response, conservatives shared clips of themselves vandalising supermarkets with Bud Light stands, shooting beer cans as a threat to ‘woke’ brands and even abusing Bud Light truck drivers.

More recently, British right-wingers threatened a boycott of Costa Coffee for a mural depicting a trans man on a truck during a Pride parade.

Nike, Adidas, Target and The North Face have also drawn conservative ire over LGBTQ-inclusive marketing and Pride campaigns.

Skittles has released limited edition Pride packaging for the past six years

It may disconcert right-wingers to learn that the rainbows sweet brand supporting LGBTQ+ folks isn’t anything new – Skittles has long run promotional campaigns for Pride Month.

While other brands ramp up the use of rainbows during Pride, Skittles has been releasing grey-and-white packaging to as part of its ‘Only One Rainbow Matters’ Pride campaign for years.

The limited edition colourless packets, with colourless candies inside, have been a feature of Skittles’ Pride marketing since at least 2017. They were released in the US for the first time in 2020, but have been available annually in other countries, including Canada, Germany and the UK, in previous years.

In a statement this June, Skittles’ parent company, Mars Inc, confirmed that the company believes “in the power of inclusion and the importance of celebrating diversity”.

“As we commemorate Pride Month, we are committed to supporting the LGBTQ+ community and creating an environment where all our Associates can thrive and be their authentic selves,” the brand stated.

The LGBTQ+ artists Skittles is showcasing on this year’s Pride collection include Bianca Xunise, Mady G, Shanée Benjamin, Symone Salib and Zipeng Zhu.

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