September 20th, 2016 – Skittles has now become a part of the political discourse after releasing a statement Monday evening in response to Donald Trump Jr.’s use of their candy in a controversial tweet. As reported earlier, the Republican presidential nominee’s son got Twitter buzzing last night after he tweeted out a meme showing a bowl of Skittles with the question:
“If I had a bowl of Skittles and I told you three would kill you. Would you take a handful? That’s our Syrian refugee problem.”
Hours later, Skittles remained the number one trending topic in the country on Twitter. As many people pointed out, comparing these two only highlights how very different they actually are; Skittles followed that line of thinking when releasing their statement.
“Skittles are candy. Refugees are people,” Denise Young, VP of Corporate Affairs for Wrigley Americas, told THR. “We don’t feel it’s an appropriate analogy. We will respectfully refrain from further commentary as anything we say could be misinterpreted as marketing.”
With the candy company providing a timely and restrained response, many people applauded their tact and even pushed for a major political party to follow in their footsteps.
A new voice was added to the discussion when the photographer of the bowl of Skittles also responded to the meme. David Kittos, who currently lives in Guildford, UK, heard from friends that his original photograph was used to push the agenda that we need to restrict refugee admittance.
“This was not done with my permission. I don’t support his politics, and I would never take his money to use it,” Kittos told the BBC.
Furthering the complexity of the event, Kittos shared that he was once a refugee and described the reality of what it was like to escape and find opportunity.
“In 1974, when I was six-years old, I was a refugee from the Turkish occupation of Cyprus so I would never approve the use of this image against refugees, he said. “I was six years old. We lived in the area of Cyprus that is now under Turkish military control. We had to leave everything behind overnight. Our property and our possessions.”
Kittos said he wants the Trump campaign to delete the image but knows that will probably not happen. The campaign has found itself in tweeted controversy a couple times before after using what some believed was the Star of David and white supremacists imagery.
Skittles now joins the ranks with M&Ms which were also used to make analogies to the refugee debate. Do you side with Skittles or understand the point Trump Jr. was trying to make?