As the long-awaited Black Friday approaches, a strong wave of protest is forming online against Boycotting Squishmallows. The topic emerged from the statement of support by Jazwares CEO of Jazwares, the famous manufacturer of Squishmallows, for Israel in the context of the conflict with Palestine. On LinkedIn, this statement incited outrage from the online community, sparking an online “Boycott” and asking: “Why is Squishmallows being canceled?” – Topics that we will discuss in more depth on veneziabeachv.vn.
I. Background on Squishmallows and Jazwares
Overview of Jazwares:
Jazwares, founded in 1997 by lawyers-turned-toy entrepreneurs, has emerged as a prominent player in the toy industry. The company made significant strides, gaining recognition for its innovative and diverse range of toys. In 2020, Jazwares acquired Kellytoy, a notable toymaker, setting the stage for the creation of one of their most popular products—Squishmallows.
Under the leadership of CEO and Founder Judd Zebersky and President Laura Zebersky, Jazwares has solidified its position as a dynamic and influential toy company. The acquisition by Berkshire Hathaway in 2022, as part of the conglomerate’s acquisition of Alleghany, further underscored Jazwares’ significance in the market. The Zeberskys now report to Greg Abel, the successor to Berkshire Hathaway’s CEO Warren Buffet.
Success and Recognition of Squishmallows:
Squishmallows, introduced in 2017 by Kellytoy (a subsidiary of Jazwares), quickly captured the hearts of consumers around the world. These plush toys, known for their soft and squishy design, became a cultural phenomenon, transcending age demographics. The idea behind Squishmallows was to offer a comforting and affordable plush toy with broad appeal.
Notably, Squishmallows received the prestigious Toy of the Year Award multiple times, a testament to their widespread popularity and impact on the toy industry. The recognition from the industry underscored the unique market presence of Squishmallows and contributed to their exponential growth in sales and popularity.
II. Why are squishmallows getting canceled?
The controversy surrounding Squishmallows arises from the expressed support for Israel by Jazwares, the company responsible for creating the popular plush toys. Jazwares’ CEO, Judd Zebersky, made a public statement on LinkedIn declaring solidarity with Israel during the ongoing conflict with Palestine. This declaration was met with widespread backlash and calls for a boycott of Squishmallows.
In his LinkedIn post, Zebersky emphasized Jazwares’ support for Israel’s right to defend its citizens against what he described as the “despicable and barbaric actions of Hamas terrorists.” He went on to reveal that two interns, named Yoni and Daniel, were sent back to Israel to participate in combat activities as part of their commitment to defending the country.
Furthermore, Zebersky announced a collaboration with Brothers for Life, a non-profit organization assisting injured Israeli soldiers. He also stated that Jazwares would not hire individuals who support pro-terrorist organizations or engage in acts with hateful intent towards any group.
The controversy gained significant traction on social media platforms, with users expressing their dissatisfaction with Jazwares’ stance. Many individuals, deeming the CEO’s statement as Zionist, called for a boycott of Squishmallows. Online discussions regarding alternative plush toy brands, with Squishable being a prominently suggested option, further fueled the controversy.
It’s crucial to acknowledge that public sentiments on this matter are diverse, and the information presented here reflects reported events and reactions within the online community. The controversy surrounding Squishmallows highlights the intersection of political views, corporate affiliations, and consumer choices in the modern age of social media activism.
III. Specific Statements by Jazwares’ CEO, Judd Zebersky
The controversy surrounding Squishmallows began when Jazwares’ CEO, Judd Zebersky, took to LinkedIn to express the company’s stance on the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine. Zebersky’s statement, posted on November 16, 2023, unequivocally conveyed Jazwares’ support for Israel in the face of what he referred to as the “despicable and barbaric actions of Hamas terrorists.”
In the LinkedIn post, Zebersky defended Israel’s right to defend its citizens, stating, “We stand firmly with Israel and its right to defend its citizens against the despicable and barbaric actions of Hamas terrorists.” The CEO expressed solidarity with the Israeli people and highlighted the challenges faced by the country in the wake of attacks orchestrated by what he deemed a terrorist organization. He drew attention to the injuries sustained by over 900 Israelis during the conflict.
Moreover, Zebersky revealed that two Jazwares interns, identified as Yoni and Daniel, were called back to Israel to contribute to the defense efforts. These interns were reportedly sent into combat, reflecting a personal commitment from the company to actively support Israel.
A crucial aspect of Zebersky’s statement involved Jazwares’ pledge not to hire individuals who support “pro-terrorist organizations or acts with hateful intent toward any group.” This declaration further fueled the controversy as it extended beyond expressing support for Israel to delineating a corporate stance against those with differing political views.
Quote from Zebersky’s LinkedIn Post:
“We stand firmly with Israel and its right to defend its citizens against the despicable and barbaric actions of Hamas terrorists. Over the past three days, over 900 Israelis injured… Make no mistake: Hamas is a terrorist organization with a charter calling for eradicating Israel. It’s a somber reminder of Israel’s genuine and daunting challenges, and our hearts go out to all those affected by such evil.”
IV. Backlash and Online Boycott Calls
Online Reactions and Backlash:
Judd Zebersky’s statements in support of Israel on LinkedIn triggered a swift and substantial online backlash from netizens. Social media platforms, particularly Twitter, became a focal point for users expressing their discontent and disappointment with Jazwares’ CEO and the company’s perceived alignment with a specific political stance.
Numerous Twitter users voiced their objections to Zebersky’s statements, criticizing Jazwares for taking a position on a politically sensitive international issue. The hashtag #BoycottSquishmallows gained traction, with users sharing their concerns about the company’s involvement in a geopolitical conflict and its potential impact on the brand’s reputation.
Comments from outraged netizens ranged from expressing disappointment in Jazwares to outright calls for boycotting Squishmallows. Many users questioned the appropriateness of a toy company taking a stance on such a divisive issue, especially considering the diverse customer base that Squishmallows had cultivated.
Role of Social Media, Particularly Twitter:
Twitter played a pivotal role in amplifying the calls for boycotting Squishmallows. The platform served as a virtual space for users to share Zebersky’s LinkedIn post, express their opinions, and mobilize others to join the boycott movement. The brevity and immediacy of Twitter allowed the controversy to spread rapidly, gaining the attention of a broad audience.
The hashtag #BoycottSquishmallows trended on Twitter, facilitating the formation of an online community rallying against the toy brand. Users shared screenshots of the CEO’s statements, encouraging others to reconsider their support for Squishmallows in light of the political controversy.
V. Alternatives to Squishmallows
Recommendations and Suggestions for Alternative Plush Toy Brands:
Amid the calls to boycott Squishmallows, online users actively engaged in discussions about alternative plush toy brands. The online community, seeking alternatives that aligned with their values or lacked the perceived political affiliations of Jazwares, put forth various recommendations. Suggestions ranged from well-established brands to niche options that resonated with the diverse preferences of consumers.
Prominent Suggestion: Squishable
One of the prominently suggested alternatives that emerged during the online discourse was Squishable. Twitter users, responding to the controversy, frequently recommended Squishable as a desirable option for those looking to divert their support from Squishmallows.
Squishable, known for its plush, huggable designs, gained attention as a brand perceived to be neutral in terms of political affiliations. Users praised the company for its diverse range of adorable and comforting plush toys, echoing sentiments that aligned with the initial appeal of Squishmallows.