Last month, the toy company Hasbro announced that it would rename the overall Mr. Potato Head brand to just “Potato Head,” in order to promote inclusion. There will still be Mr. Potato Heads and Mrs. Potato Heads sold in stores, in addition to other options that celebrate “the many faces of families.”
The latest Yahoo News/YouGov poll shows that three in five Americans (60%) disagree with the decision to drop the honorific from the brand’s name. Republicans are especially likely to disagree (88%) with the decision, as do 61% of Independents. By 41% to 32%, Democrats also disagree with the choice.
The original Mr. Potato Head was distributed in 1952, meaning older Americans would have been children when it first hit store shelves. This could contribute to the reason why Americans aged 65 and older are especially likely to disagree with the decision (73%) to rebrand the product. Two-thirds of Americans aged 45-to 64-years-old do not approve of the choice (66%). About half of 30-to 44-year-olds (46%) and those under 30 (51%) disapprove.
The rebrand has played a larger role in a national conversation around cancel culture, the practice of boycotting something that offends some people. One-third of Americans (34%) describe cancel culture as a big problem in the United States today, while one-quarter (25%) say it is somewhat of a big problem.
Groups who see cancel culture as a significant issue are more likely to disagree with the rebrand. Eight in 10 Americans who see cancel culture as a big problem (80%) disagree with the renaming. A majority of those who see cancel culture as a somewhat big problem or a small problem also disagree with the decision, at 59% and 53% respectively.
Even those who say cancel culture is not a problem in America are split on the issue: 34% disapprove and 35% approve of the gender-neutral branding.
Methodology: The Yahoo News survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 1,629 U.S. adults interviewed online from March 4 to 8, 2021. The respondents all participated in a prior Yahoo News survey conducted either March 10-11, 2020, or March 25-26, 2020, and were contacted to participate. This sample was weighted according to gender, age, race and education based on the American Community Survey, conducted by the U.S. Bureau of the Census, as well as 2020 presidential vote (or non-vote) and voter registration status. Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel. The margin of error is approximately 3.4 percent.