Uprooting Your Childhood?

     Recently Hasbro Gaming announced that they are dropping the “Mr” from Mr. Potato Head to rebrand to a more gender neutral and inclusive brand. To say that people are outraged is an understatement. People took to Facebook by storm to shout to the world how angry they are at a children’s toy, even though nothing else is changing about “Potato Head” other than the brand name. The accessories are staying the same and they are still going to use the characters Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head. Hasbro commented on it in this tweet: 

https://twitter.com/Hasbro/status/1365038178814590995?s=20

    I would also like to remind everyone that Potato Head is a potato. Potatoes don’t have a gender because it is a vegetable. People seem to forget that fact. This case is one of many that have come under fire by conservatives. According to CNN the estate of Dr. Seuss was facing controversy over removing six books from publication. These books are called: "And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street", "If I Ran the Zoo", "McElligot's Pool", "On Beyond Zebra!", "Scrambled Eggs Super!", and "The Cat's Quizzer". The reason these books are not being produced is because they show images of racist caricatures of Asian people and Black people. 

     The official statement from Dr. Seuss Enterprise states, “Today, on Dr. Seuss’s Birthday, Dr. Seuss Enterprise celebrates reading and also our mission of supporting all children and families with messages of hope, inspiration, inclusion, and friendship”. They also go on to say, “We are committed to action” and “These books portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong”. Taking away these books aren’t “erasing history,” they are acknowledging that these ideas that are portrayed in the books are harmful and they don’t align with the values we have as a society today, and because of that they can no longer be published and targeted towards children. 

     This new trend of changing and updating toys and children’s books to fit into modern society has not gone over well with conservatives. They fear that “cancel culture” is taking away their childhood and allowing the government  to censor books and free speech. This is not true. What the goal of all of this is to make these classic toys and books inclusive so all children can enjoy them. These brands are progressing past these antiquated ideas in order to be able to reach a broader audience.