Its slogan asks people to “taste the rainbow,” but in Donald Trump Jr.‘s eyes perhaps that line should be “deport the rainbow.”
On Monday, the 38-year-old eldest son of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump ignited a social media frenzy after sending out a controversial tweet with a graphic comparing Syrian refugees to a bowl full of Skittles.
Suggesting that Syrian refugees bring violence to the United States and therefore should not be allowed into the country, the image asks, “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.”
“This image says it all,” Trump Jr. wrote in his tweet. “Let’s end the politically correct agenda that doesn’t put America first.”
The picture included Trump’s slogan “Make America Great Again” with the official logo of the 70-year-old’s campaign with running mate Mike Pence.
It didn’t take long for the backlash to begin. Musician John Legend and many others took to Twitter to provide images of injured and shell shocked Syrian children while criticizing Trump Jr.’s analogy.
“Hey @DonaldJTrumpJr, this is one of the millions of children you compared to a poisoned Skittle today,’ director Jon Favreau wrote alongside the now-iconic shot of dust-and-blood-covered Omran Daqneesh.
Wrigley Americas – Skittles parent company – appeared to agree with the uproar. The company issued a crisp response opposing Trump Jr.’s analogy.
“Skittles are candy. Refugees are people,” Vice President of Corporate Affairs Denise Young wrote. “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,” the statement concluded.
And while the words on the Skittles image were upsetting to many, the analogy appears to not be Trump Jr.’s originally.
Joe Walsh, a conservative talk show host and former tea party congressman from Illinois, quickly took credit for the message – sharing a tweet he wrote on Aug. 13 using the ad’s exact language.
“Hey @DonaldTrumpJr, that’s the point I made last month, glad you agree,” Walsh wrote.