Washington DC—Desperate to turn the attention away from his disastrous trip to Cancun and the massive failure of his home state to deliver basic utilities, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz announced Wednesday that he is forming a group to fight against future efforts to make beloved toys gender neutral.
“To the liberals of America: give me a break!” Cruz said at a press conference. “We’ve had enough of your extreme agenda. Once again, you’ve sacrificed a beloved American icon at the altar of political correctness. We need to shout in one voice that Mr. Potato Head is a man. He was born with a penis and we won’t let you neuter him!”
When a reporter noted that Mr. Potato Head does not appear to have genitalia, Cruz replied, “Well, sometimes he wears pants and you can’t tell.”
“But there’s no bulge,” the reporter said.
A second reporter interjected, “Maybe it was an eye growing in an unfortunate spot.”
“Mr. Potato Head has never had tuber-like protrusions commonly called ‘eyes’,” the first reporter said. “It only has the anthropomorphized eyes on his so-called face.”
“Who’s to say that a potato would have a penis where a person would,” a third reporter asked. “I mean, it’s a potato, you can’t really tell where the top and the bottom are.”
“People!” Cruz interrupted. “We’re losing sight of what’s important here! A company decided to slightly change the name of a toy most people had forgotten about and that’s an outrage! What’s next, Barbie loses her breasts and starts cross dressing?”
Thirty-six seconds after Cruz spoke, a teen in Houston made a Tik Tok video, rearranging the words of Cruz’ statement to say, “Give me Mr. Potato Head penis again, again, again.” One minute and 12 seconds after that, a youth in Pittsburgh made a GIF of Mr. Potato Head and Cruz having sex with audio of Cruz shouting, “Neuter him” repeatedly. By Wednesday afternoon, both were trending on Twitter and each had received more than 1.4 million likes.
Cruz’ staff released a PDF showing several novelty Mr. Potato Heads over the years, all whom were based on men; a Bruce Springsteen version during the “Born in the USA” era, a Neil Armstrong edition after the moon landing, and the ill-fated Joseph Stalin Mr. Potato Head which was popular during the early stages of World War II but less so thereafter.
Hasbro, the maker of Mr. Potato Head, released a statement late Wednesday apologizing for the controversy. It vowed to be inclusive of all views and said it would start selling gender-neutral Potato Heads in big cities and the classic Mr. Potato Head version in small towns. It will also launch a Madam Vice-President Potato Head that looks like Kamala Harris and a version that looks like Mike Pence that includes a note that asks kids not to let the toy play with any Ms. Potato Heads that are not his wife.