Of all the people that have have been dragged into this mess of an election against their will, you can bet there’s no one more surprised to be embroiled in political turmoil than candy companies.
Tic Tac respects all women. We find the recent statements and behavior completely inappropriate and unacceptable.
— Tic Tac USA (@TicTacUSA) October 8, 2016
Here we are, less than a month before the election, and two candy makers have disavowed the Republican presidential candidate. Tic Tac made its remarks after a video first published by The Washington Post showed Donald Trump having a lewd conversation about women with then-host of “Access Hollywood” Billy Bush.
“I’ve got to use some Tic Tacs, just in case I start kissing her,” Trump says. “You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait.”
He later used impolite language to describe using his celebrity status to sexually assault women. The maker of minty breath fresheners issued the tweet above the day after the news broke. “Saturday Night Live” jumped in with a fake Tic Tac commercial that certainly caused heart palpitations at company headquarters. “Now if you’re a woman and hear Tic Tacs shaking in someone’s pocket, it’s like hearing the ‘Jaws’ theme,” said Weekend Update co-host Colin Jost, introducing the bit.
This came only three weeks after Donald Trump Jr.’s tweet comparing Syrian refugees to poisoned Skittles. He tweeted an image of a bowl of Skittles with the text: “If I had a bowl of Skittles and I told you just three would kill you. Would you take a handful? That’s our Syrian refugee problem.” The ensuing outcry drew a swift backlash (and a fact-check on Trump Jr.’s math) and led to Wrigley, the parent company of Skittles, issuing the statement below.
“Skittles are candy. Refugees are people. We don’t feel it’s an appropriate analogy,” Wrigley said in a statement sent by its vice president of corporate affairs, Denise Young. “We will respectfully refrain from further commentary as anything we say could be misinterpreted as marketing.”
When asked for comment, a communications manager for Wrigley responded by email, “We’re not going to be participating in any follow up stories around this topic.” Ferrero, the parent company of Tic Tacs, also declined to comment. But social media lit up with jokes about the double candy denouncement.
Now that we've heard from Skittles and Tic Tac, I'd like to hear how Toblerone would handle ISIS.
— Tim Siedell (@badbanana) October 8, 2016
TIC TAC: You would not believe my day
SKITTLES: Yes, I would
MENTOS (clutching bottle of whiskey): I'm next, aren't I? Please God, no more
— Daniel Lin (@DLin71) October 8, 2016
It’s not the first time candy has found its way into politics. Jelly beans will forever be associated with Ronald Reagan. Obama hands out presidential M&Ms. Trump’s hair has been compared to cotton candy. On the trail, Clinton used chocolate to dodge reporters’ questions.
Could handing out Skittles on Halloween be construed as a political statement? Perhaps. A poll conducted by the National Confectioners Association found that Skittles-eaters tend to skew Republican. Overall, “Democrats tend to prefer their candy be filled with extras like almonds, raisins and rice,” wrote Will Feltus and Mike Shannon. “Republicans, on the other hand, are more likely to favor peanuts, creamy fillings and darker chocolate.”