One week ago, McDonald’s released Minion Mania for the month of July. It’s the result of Universal and McDonald’s teaming up to promote the new movie, Minions (a prequel to Despicable Me). This month, McDonald’s is giving away Minion toys in Happy Meals, over $1 million in cash, and hundreds of thousands of toys. But this marketing campaign may have a sour twist.
As soon as the game began, reports of potty-mouth Minions began appearing online. Parents were outraged when these toys, apparently, spoke profanity. Parents from all over took to the internet to let themselves be heard.
You will most likely find this story either silly or sickening or maybe even down right despicable.
Many people believe the Minions have two foul-mouthed phrases:
“What the f**k?”
“I’ll be damned.”
News of this spread quickly. McDonald’s quickly answered for these allegations:
Minions speak ‘Minionese’ which is a random combination of many languages and nonsense words and sounds. ‘Minionese’ has no translation to, or meaning in any recognized language. Any perceived similarities to words used within the English language is purely coincidental.
McDonald’s went on to say the toys go through rigorous testing before being rolled out to children. McDonald’s also said all their Happy Meal toys comply with all safety regulations. McDonald’s claims they are perfectly appropriate for children.
Parents are concerned because they don’t want these phrases to be repeated by their children. Some parents believe if the toys aren’t saying curse words – it still sounds like they are swearing. Since kids do not understand Minionese, they will use their own language to decipher what is being said. Cut Minionese phrases sound like foul-mouthed English phrases to some parents.
Happy Meals (which the toys come in) are targeted at children. Children are impressionable. Even if the toys comply with all government toy distributions standards, one must ask if McDonald’s did this on purpose.
The Illinois-based company design these toys understand the English language. Did they ever consider the toy, at least somewhat, sounds like it is using words most parents find to be ‘bad’? Maybe yes, maybe no.
However, nothing can be known for certain. McDonald’s denies it has done anything wrong. Many other parents believe the toys are just fine – whether they speak profanity or not.
McDonald’s has no plans to recall the toys.
This is a qualitative argument which has no definite answer.
As found through neurology, human brains try hard to find meaning in everything. It’s why we can see shapes in clouds. It’s why we see more in paintings that just brush strokes. Not long ago, people were seeing the face of Jesus in potato chips and burnt into their morning slice of toast. Humans want to find the deeper meaning in things. It’s what makes us human.
Our brains do the same sort of detective work when we listen. We want to find meaning. Some people may really believe the toys are swearing at them. But this could just be their brain’s attempting to relate a common phrase in English to what the Minions are saying in Minionese. Our brains can get confused.
I invite you to finish this article yourself. Is this McDonald’s toy swearing? Is it just innocent Minionese? Should you even care because McDonald’s is a ridiculous waste of money? Leave a comment below after watching the video: