It Gets Better, Doritos, and the troll who countered homophobic comments
September 20, 2015 8:20 PM   Subscribe

Recently, It Gets Better teamed up with Doritos to support the LGBT community with rainbow colored chips, which could be purchased from It Gets Better's website, until they ran out. There was the usual outcry and backlash, but this time it looked like Doritos took time to respond to individual criticisms on Facebook. Except it was the return of the beneficial troll, Mike Melgaard, who previously posed as a Target representative in support of its move towards more gender-neutral of children's products in its stores. posted by filthy light thief (51 comments total) 33 users marked this as a favorite
 
Huh. I saw a bunch of screenshots of the responses but would actually never have imagined it was the same guy from the Target thing.

Where is his biopic, Aaron Sorkin?
posted by shakespeherian at 8:24 PM on September 20, 2015 [10 favorites]


"Unfortunately we just can't accommodate your insatiable desire for phallic Doritos."
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 8:39 PM on September 20, 2015 [31 favorites]


I am glad someone has the time and energy to tweak the dinosaurs because I just cannot afford that much blood pressure medication.
posted by phearlez at 8:41 PM on September 20, 2015 [10 favorites]


I giggled my way through the articles. Thank you!
posted by chatongriffes at 8:47 PM on September 20, 2015


Worth it just for the troll's reply to the user named Peter Schulz.
posted by edheil at 8:48 PM on September 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


This man is a national treasure and a joy for these jaded eyes to read.
posted by Samizdata at 8:51 PM on September 20, 2015 [3 favorites]


That response to the pastor was delicious
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:53 PM on September 20, 2015 [5 favorites]


Now I have to get a bag to feel as fabulous as that guy must be.
posted by numaner at 9:02 PM on September 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


So, do companies hire him, like a hired gun, to do this? That would be so awesome.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 9:11 PM on September 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


Fuzzy Monster: "Unfortunately we just can't accommodate your insatiable desire for phallic Doritos."

I was tempted to use that as the post title.


SecretAgentSockpuppet: So, do companies hire him, like a hired gun, to do this? That would be so awesome.

I wish. I think these are short-term ways to counter the hate and bigotry by a single good guy. I've been looking for an interview with him to hear more about his motivations and ability to keep calm, but no such luck.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:18 PM on September 20, 2015 [3 favorites]


I figure he stays calm because he's speaking in code. Translated, every single one of his messages is "Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you."

It is glorious.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:32 PM on September 20, 2015 [31 favorites]


Oh wow, I was just thinking earlier today that it sounded like the same guy! And hey, it is!
posted by brecc at 9:47 PM on September 20, 2015


mst3k for fb - comedy gold
posted by j_curiouser at 9:51 PM on September 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


What I love about this is that:

1. People that lack critical-thinking skills get outraged.

2. The guy is preying on that very same lack of critical-thinking; they just casually accept that this really is a Doritos/Target spokesperson based solely on a screen name and a profile picture.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:57 PM on September 20, 2015 [13 favorites]


Don't ever tell somebody about number one unless you are armed. Just my 2 cents.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 10:03 PM on September 20, 2015


"And we should probably be honest - it's a good thing you're giving your body a break from Taco Bell."

ahahahahaha!
posted by triggerfinger at 10:06 PM on September 20, 2015 [3 favorites]


I usually hate pranks and get that douche-chill nails-on-chalkboard feeling when people are being pranked, but this is the best thing to ever happen on this or any Internet.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:07 PM on September 20, 2015 [6 favorites]


it's a good thing you're giving your body a break from Taco Bell.

Now that would be something. Rainbow Doritos Locos Tacos.
posted by radwolf76 at 11:37 PM on September 20, 2015


"Unfortunately we just can't accommodate your insatiable desire for phallic Doritos."

That's what the rainbow Cheetos are for.
posted by Rangi at 11:45 PM on September 20, 2015 [5 favorites]


Oh my God, I love this guy! That Target troll post cheered me up for days.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 11:54 PM on September 20, 2015


This guy would be a great interview subject for the next mini podcast.
posted by wenestvedt at 3:03 AM on September 21, 2015


I usually hate pranks

I think it gets a pass because it's probably what the company themselves wish they could say.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 3:05 AM on September 21, 2015 [7 favorites]


This seemed less focused than the last effort (what is he doing with Dora?) but I still enjoyed it

Sometimes I feel bad for that, since it's largely the same impulse that gets you doctored videos of Acorn and Planned Parenthood. But it just feels so much more joyful when this guy does it.

I'd also read the hell out of an interview or profile piece on Melgaard. Get to work satisfying my desires, capitalist media!
posted by anotherpanacea at 3:22 AM on September 21, 2015


> ...they just casually accept that this really is a Doritos/Target spokesperson based solely on a screen name and a profile picture.

To be fair for a moment, there's nothing more to go by. Especially since the account is speaking on behalf of the company's activity. Due diligence is great and all but these folks aren't being pranked because they're stupid, they're being pranked because the pranks are reinforcing their prejudices.
posted by ardgedee at 3:51 AM on September 21, 2015


Does anyone have any photos of the actual rainbow Doritos, outside of the package?

[Edit: Oh, there they are.]
posted by Faint of Butt at 4:08 AM on September 21, 2015


If that trolling doesn't do it for you, there's always Ken M.
posted by blue_beetle at 5:22 AM on September 21, 2015 [8 favorites]


...this thread not only brought me more activist trolling of hateful dimwits, but I also learned of this Ken M character whose street address given to Jimmy Dean is awkwardly close to my home.

Brush with stardom!
posted by syncope at 5:44 AM on September 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


Seinfeld: "So you're saying he's a *beneficial* troll?"
Kramer: "Why not? There are benevolent dictators, like Attaturk!"
Elaine: "Well I think he's fabulous."
George: "Wait, beneficial troll? That's a thing? I could do that!"
Seinfeld: "What could go wrong?"
posted by jabah at 6:03 AM on September 21, 2015 [10 favorites]


Joining Frito Lay with special rainbow-dyed food products supporting equality, the fast-food corporation McDonalds will be introducing their Big Gay Mac, which will be unveiled during the 2016 Superbowl with a commercial starring an updated, 21st Century gay version of their popular 1980's Mac Tonight mascot. For a preview, featuring a clip with the commercial's theme song, click here.
posted by Cookiebastard at 6:18 AM on September 21, 2015


The Dora exchange is just straight-up trolling. It's funny when he's taking the piss on people who jump on FB to decry the "homosexual junk food agenda", but this poster seems to be asking for real information on the food dyes.
posted by dr_dank at 6:49 AM on September 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


> an updated, 21st Century gay version of their popular 1980's Mac Tonight mascot.

I miss Mac Tonight, to date the only fast food mascot inspired by a murder ballad about a sadistic rapist and murderer.
posted by The Card Cheat at 6:49 AM on September 21, 2015 [5 favorites]


Joining Frito Lay with special rainbow-dyed food products supporting equality, the fast-food corporation McDonalds will be introducing their Big Gay Mac, which will be unveiled during the 2016 Superbowl with a commercial starring an updated, 21st Century gay version of their popular 1980's Mac Tonight mascot. For a preview, featuring a clip with the commercial's theme song, click here.

I'm disappointed that this wasn't segued into Big Gay Al selling Big Gay Macs with "It's thuper! Thankth for athking!"
posted by Talez at 6:50 AM on September 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


To be honest about Doritos and religious symbolism, their main product has always been 1/2 of a star of David... Now to see how long before the Zionist conspiracy nuts pick up on it. The fact that their creation is closely tied to Disneyland will just set it off even worse.
posted by Badgermann at 7:12 AM on September 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


To be fair for a moment, there's nothing more to go by.

Lack of evidence is exactly why a smart person would hesitate and think twice before getting sucked deeper into the prank. But no, they plow ahead, actually having a back-and-forth with the prankster. So, I disagree with you, or I'm just less charitable -- this prank exposes exactly how dumb, gullible and un-self-aware some of these people are.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 7:51 AM on September 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


What I like most about this type of response is that it seems at least as likely to foster contempt for corporations as increase tolerance for homosexuality. I don't see these attempts by Target and Frito Lay as genuine concern for the LGBT community, but rather as a cynical attempt to market to a particular demographic. Melgaard seems to get this, given responses like this: Unfortunately, you are well passed what we in the business like to call our 'customer demographic.' Your world view are just too outdated for our business model.

If the companies involved thought catering to the anti-gay critics was more profitable than beefing up sales by gay and gay-friendly consumers, I think they would do that. (Witness TLC backing down in the Duck Dynasty incident.) Melgaard's m.o. seems to be "Fuck you haters, and fuck Doritos too." That's really clever.

Or maybe he really is a classic troll, and doesn't have any agenda at all beyond riling people up.
posted by layceepee at 8:09 AM on September 21, 2015 [5 favorites]


this Ken M character whose street address given to Jimmy Dean is awkwardly close to my home

GOD, of course Ken M is Florida Man.
posted by poffin boffin at 8:31 AM on September 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


> this poster seems to be asking for real information on the food dyes.

No, this poster is attempting to attack in every way possible, including asking if the red color in Doritos is made from the crushed bodies of insects.

(To be fair, that dye, called cochineal, was very common two generations ago, but no one's used it in a long time, and the poster knows that...)
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 8:35 AM on September 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


lupus_yonderboy: "To be fair, that dye, called cochineal, was very common two generations ago, but no one's used it in a long time, and the poster knows that."

This is actually news to me. I thought it was still (1) acceptable regulation-wise and (2) in regular (if not common) use.
posted by boo_radley at 9:00 AM on September 21, 2015 [4 favorites]


the only fast food mascot inspired by a murder ballad about a sadistic rapist and murderer.

What about the Hammurderer? Stabble stabble.
posted by asperity at 9:01 AM on September 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think it gets a pass because it's probably what the company themselves wish they could say.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 6:05 AM

The company? No. The company itself has no sense of humor and is only interested in profits. Individuals who work for the company, on the other hand, probably have all kinds of things they want to say on both sides of the (rainbow) spectrum.

I enjoyed this little bit of silliness, in large part because I have an idea that someone who is outraged over rainbow colored Doritos would have no sense of humor.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 9:15 AM on September 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


Having worked in sales for virtually my entire professional life, I can't help but laugh and roll my eyes whenever I see consumers pull out the "I'll never buy your product again!" threat. I wonder if people realize just how frequently this supposed trump card gets pulled out, to the point that it is almost entirely limp and meaningless due to being so overdone? Seriously, if I had a dime for every time a customer has made a "I'll never do business with your company again unless you make some ridiculous accommodation for me" threat, well, I wouldn't have to work in sales anymore. I can't help but take some vicarious pleasure in seeing people making these threats get messed with, the fact it is in the name of a good cause and the people getting screwed with hold some rather backwards and bigoted views is just an added bonus.
posted by The Gooch at 9:22 AM on September 21, 2015 [5 favorites]


I learned something new - apparently cochineal is a thing again!

"Health fears over artificial food additives, however, have renewed the popularity of cochineal dyes, and the increased demand has made cultivation of the insect profitable again, with Peru being the largest exporter." Source.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 9:57 AM on September 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


Anyway, my original point stands. The woman isn't legitimately asking questions about the coloring - she's attacking Doritos in a bunch of different ways and one of them is cochineal, an idea she got from an anti-Starbucks campaign.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 9:58 AM on September 21, 2015 [4 favorites]


This is actually news to me. I thought it was still (1) acceptable regulation-wise and (2) in regular (if not common) use.
It is in regular use where I live. I thought it was a totally innocuous question. Where I live more and more people are apparently afraid of all things artificial so food companies started using "all natural" food coloring because of course crushing insects to make your candy red makes it a lot healthier than using anything artificial. It's maddening. I'm almost tempted to make a troll account myself and reply to people who ask questions about artificial colors with replies like "Thank you for your interest in our Junk Food. We at Junk Food Inc know that your family's health is very important to you, and that that is why you buy lots of Junk Food. We are committed to your health and therefore we do not add anything artificial to our products that are either 99% sugar or completely made up of white flour and refined oils. We can assure you that our coloring is only made of the finest crushed beetles that we could find so you can keep eating as much Junk Food as you like."
posted by blub at 9:59 AM on September 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


> I can't help but laugh and roll my eyes whenever I see consumers pull out the "I'll never buy your product again!" threat.

Consumer boycotts have been a powerful force time and again in the past for over a century - laughing at the idea indicates a lack of familiarity with history.

(Not that I think this boycott in specific will work but companies are extremely sensitive to risk in this area...)
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 10:03 AM on September 21, 2015


The woman isn't legitimately asking questions about the coloring
I don't understand how you can be so certain about that. I know a lot of vegans who don't want to eat carmine and are also concerned about GMO's (and a lot of other things) and who do support gay rights and would love to have these Dorito's but only if the ingredients are okay to them. Normally you can find out ingredients of a product in a store, but since these are specially made, you have to ask.
posted by blub at 10:05 AM on September 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


Not to turn this into a referendum on dyes, that question just glided past me. Maybe she had a broader set of questions across the spectrum? Not sure here.
posted by boo_radley at 10:08 AM on September 21, 2015


lupus_yonderboy: Consumer boycotts have been a powerful force time and again in the past for over a century - laughing at the idea indicates a lack of familiarity with history.

Are they going to go up the chain and boycott all PepsiCo products, or just Doritos? Frito-Lay makes Fritos corn chips, Cheetos cheese-flavored snacks, Doritos and Tostitos tortilla chips, Lay's and Ruffles potato chips, Rold Gold pretzels, to name some of the subsidiary brands in the US, where this campaign is directed.

There are consumer boycotts, and there are homophobes on Facebook shouting about chips. The bigger (and broader) the company, the harder it is to make such a boycott successful.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:40 AM on September 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


Sometimes I wish the Florida Man jokes even came close to reality. You're laughing at the guy arrested for wearing nothing but a dolphin condom in a Tom Thumb, and I sit there wondering how come there were even cops around since we have none and how the story made it to the internet when it wasn't even in the top ten craziest things to happen that day since it didn't make the local news.

This said, I donated to It Gets Better.
posted by syncope at 12:39 PM on September 21, 2015


Yeah, I had to put this guy on my twitter feed, too funny...
posted by nofundy at 6:45 PM on September 21, 2015


The list of companies homophobes are boycotting is getting awfully long. It opens up a lot of market opportunities for closeted gay people to start their own chip/soda/coffee/department store/cable television/fast food multinational, that's for sure.
posted by SassHat at 1:02 PM on September 22, 2015


« Older “You leave when you get ready, and not with nobody...   |   It took until the early '30s for a hood to be... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments