Woke Fail: Hershey’s Hit with Backlash, Boycott Calls After Casting Transgender Activist in International Women’s Day Promo


Hershey’s has been hit with backlash and boycott calls after casting a transgender activist in an International Women’s Day promo video. The chocolate manufacturer brought back its SHE chocolate bar on March 1 for International Women’s Day, but a biological male presented the candy bar in Hershey’s advertising campaign in Canada.

“My name is Fae Johnstone, I’m the executive director of Wisdom2Action,” Johnstone said in the promo video. “We can create a world where everyone is able to live in public space as their honest and authentic selves. See the women changing how we see the future.”

Watch Below:

“As you may have already seen in your local convenience store, you can find special edition Hershey chocolate bars with our faces on them!” Johnstone tweeted.

“We still have a long way to go in the fight to end misogyny, patriarchy and gender-based violence,” the transgender activist continued. “I hope this campaign helps give more young women and girls role models and possibility models. And shows them how we can be change the world, together.”

“It also means a lot to be included, as a young(ish?) trans woman. I grew up with few trans role models. Many young trans folks haven’t met a trans adult,” Johnstone added in a follow-up tweet. “I hope this campaign shows trans girls they can dream big and change the world too.”

The Hershey’s promo video ended up getting blow back, as the company now faces backlash and boycott calls from social media users upset over constantly seeing biological males in spaces typically reserved for women.

“You get the feeling that these companies *always* despised women — they were just waiting for the right moment to stick it to us,” one Twitter user reacted.

“A biological MAN fronts the new Hersheys campaign celebrating women for International Women’s Day,” another tweeted. “This is misogyny at its finest! A real slap in the face to actual women!”

“Hey @Hersheys this isn’t a woman. And you lost my business for choosing a person that makes a mockery of what makes us real women special,” a third Twitter user said.

“Dear @Hersheys couldn’t you find a real woman? I mean out of the billions of women out there surely one of us REAL women would have been a better choice,” another commented.

“What a slap in the face to women on international women’s day,” another reacted. “We’re tired of playing make believe with you freaks. There are billions of women that could have been the face of this ad but you chose a dude larping as a woman. Shameful.”

“International Women’s Day is for real women but @Hersheys decided against using real women and used biological men that say they are women to celebrate the day made for biological women,” another wrote, adding the hashtag “#BoycottHersheys.”
“How bad do you have to hate women for things like this?” one Twitter user asked.

“All these trans activists are losing support because this shit is ridiculous,” another Twitter user declared. “They aren’t looking for equal rights but superior rights. #BoycottHersheys.”

“I wake up this morning to see that @Hersheys is trending and then I find out it is because during International Women’s Day they’ve decided that women are unnecessary. Way to slap women in the face, Hershey’s. And, BTW, go to Hell,” another tweeted.

“As soon as you use even one bloke for your pro-women activism, the real women become props. They become nothing more than ‘proof’ that the man belongs, and validation of his and your delusion. They become background,” another said. “It’s the exact opposite of pro-women.”

“Congratulations to all women on #InternationalWomensDay. You no longer exist. Men have taken your place in society,” another proclaimed.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.