This month, June, marks the 51st celebration of Pride Month -- a time when millions of people come together in support of the LGBTQ community not only in the United States but other countries as well.
On June 3, Thursday, a Twitter user shared an image that appeared to show a bag of white Skittles, designed to commemorate Pride, labelled "Skittles White Pride" in a U.K. supermarket. This was interpreted by many as a racially charged expression of white supremacy.
"I don't think that's the kind of pride they mean," the photo is captioned. The image shows the Skittles bag on a retail display at a SPAR convenience store. The packaging bears the Skittles logo (rendered in all white) and contains all white Skittles. The text on the bag reads, "During Pride only one rainbow matters #onerainbow."
Nothing More than a Labelling Error
SPAR responded to the tweet to clarify that the labelling on the Skittles display rack was due to an oversight that took place in that particular supermarket last year and was rectified as soon as it was brought to their attention.
"Hello, this was a labelling error last year that was quickly rectified. We will make sure it never happens again. Many thanks!," the convenience store's official Twitter handle tweeted.
In 2017, Skittles ditched its signature rainbow-colored candies in favor of an all-white appearance to honor Pride month, as pointed out in a Time article. The point of the campaign was that the limited-edition Skittles would be stripped of the colorful theme during Pride month, in deference to and solidarity with Pride and the LGBTQ community.
At the time, many consumers expressed concern that the message could be linked to white pride, a racialist concept promoted by white supremacists and neo-Nazi groups, as reported by Marketing Dive. Critics took to Twitter to share that they felt the new direction was inadvertently tone-deaf, rather than supportive of LGBTQ people, as the company intended.