A stunningly tone-deaf plan to release a collection of wines inspired by dystopian TV series The Handmaid’s Tale has been canned after a decisive social media uproar.
MGM and wine-seller Lot18 were behind the marketing ploy, which saw three wines created and dedicated Elisabeth Moss, Alexis Bledel and Yvonne Strahovski’s characters in the show.
But on the same day it was announced, it was duly cancelled.
Two red wines, a 2017 Pays d’Oc Pinot Noir and a 2017 Rogue Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, were modelled on subjugated characters Ofglen and Offred, while a ‘sophisticated, traditional and austere’ Bordeaux Blanc was assigned to Serena Joy, wife of Commander Fred and part of the brutal theocratic regime.
The Cabernet was described as ‘a daring testament to the heights that Oregon Cabs can reach, featuring concentrated flavors of cherry, plum and coffee bean that give way to a warm, spicy finish’.
Such marketing flourishes were soon pilloried, however, and the backlash was swift and brutal.
“Can you turn rape into marketing copy?” “Sure, you bet.” “Great, it’s for Handmaid’s Tale wine.” “Haha, love it.” pic.twitter.com/9089Cveu0G
— Margaret Lyons (@margeincharge) July 10, 2018
Hey @hulu I had some better ideas for merchandising! Handmaid’s Tale the pepper spray. Handmaid’s Tale the IUD. Handmaid’s Tale the enormous donation to the National Network of Abortion Funds. https://t.co/gIRH62wdyf
— Jess Zimmerman (@j_zimms) July 10, 2018
Finally a product that combines everything I hate: wine, marketing, unbridled capitalism, and authoritarian patriarchal dystopias where women are chattel! https://t.co/Hd7242e2nR
— andi zeisler (@andizeisler) July 10, 2018
I’m starting to think that aliens released a chemical into our water supply that is slowly making the entire world stupid. https://t.co/ILj9qzbtEd
— Ian Millhiser (@imillhiser) July 11, 2018
Blessed be the fruit of entirely misguided capitalistic endeavors. https://t.co/uvanqfqKJd
— Maris Kreizman (@mariskreizman) July 10, 2018
Slate published a piece entitled ‘Five Handmaid’s Tale tie-in products that still aren’t as offensive as the show’s new branded wine’, which included an ‘Offred Muzzle’, ‘Aunt Lydia’s fruit basket’ and a ‘Cambridge Stoning Rock’.
Though no official statement has been released as yet, Entertainment Weekly confirmed that Lot18 and MGM have canceled the plans.
The webpage where the wins were to be made available is also gone.