Per a company statement, as of summer 2021, Mr. Potato Head will no longer include the prefix "Mr.," with Hasbro seemingly opting to make the longtime fan-favorite gender-neutral going into the future.
But why exactly was the decision made, is it official, and what types of reactions has the move elicited amongst users online? Here's a full analysis of the situation as it currently stands.
Hasbro wanted to give Mr. Potato Head a "modern" look that's more appealing.
The company announced the controversial decision via a press release on their official website. The decision to drop the "Mr." prefix comes as the company moves to unveil a "Create Your Potato Head Family" kit that includes two fully-customizable potato parents and a potato baby.
"Hasbro is making sure all feel welcome in the Potato Head world by officially dropping the Mr. from the Mr. Potato Head brand name and logo to promote gender equality and inclusion," the statement reads. "In the fall, the new Potato Family Pack 'Create Your Potato Head Family' will celebrate the many faces of families allowing kids to imagine and create their own Potato Head family."
The company furthered their message by adding, "The name change will come with a fresh branding look with a whimsical color palette and more inclusive messaging along with new product to appeal to the modern consumer."
Users online mocked the company's new move in a variety of ways.
Fans took to social media in the wake of the news to criticize the decision, analyzing the company's move beyond face value. One user posted that, "Maybe they shouldn’t have gendered a tattie in the first place? Also - excellent work by Hasbro’s comms team. Lots of coverage of a product most people haven’t thought about in forever," insinuating that this was all part of a marketing ploy.
Others were more crass and direct, with one user writing, "This is the dumbest f-----g thing ever. And it’s only Thursday."
Some users decided to mock those who took offense to the announcement though, with one saying, "It’s 2021 and instead of flying cars and condos on the moon, real actual adults are losing their minds over the gender of a plastic potato."
Hasbro walked back their decision the same day after online criticism.
After a swift and harsh flurry of hate messages sent toward the company for their decision, they seemingly walked back the announcement to drop the gender from their potato toy on the same day they announced it.
Posting to Twitter, the company cleared the air around the issue, writing, "Hold that Tot – your main spud, MR. POTATO HEAD isn’t going anywhere! While it was announced today that the POTATO HEAD brand name & logo are dropping the ‘MR.’ I yam proud to confirm that MR. & MRS. POTATO HEAD aren’t going anywhere and will remain MR. & MRS. POTATO HEAD."
Many users quickly responded in the tweet's thread thanking the company for not "caving" and implementing gender-neutral tendencies into their children's toys.