On June 3 2021, @NoContextBrits tweeted a photograph of “white pride Skittles,” in what was truly an on-brand tweet:
I don’t think that’s the kind of pride they mean… pic.twitter.com/iYAWcAOsAK
— No Context Brits (@NoContextBrits) June 3, 2021
Text of the tweet read “I don’t think that’s the kind of pride they mean,” with an image of a bag of white Skittles with a retail display with a price tag from Dutch convenience store SPAR. The tag read:
Skittles White Pride
Pch 196g, £1.55
A package bearing the Skittles logo (rendered in all white) contained white Skittles. Text on the Skittles bag stated: “During Pride only one rainbow matters #onerainbow.”
On May 29 2021, a different image of gray Skittles was shared to Reddit’s r/AccidentalRacism, referencing “white pride Skittles” in the title:
A top-level comment on that post alluded to the grammatical trip-ups inherent in whatever the SPAR picture represented:
Well, they’re literally the white, pride edition skittles. Just make sure you really annunciate that comma.
On June 1 2021, a viral tweet addressed Skittles which were also colorless, but not white:
??? What the fuck lmao pic.twitter.com/qJc0LII4io
— jack "gray skittles" gross (@__jackary) June 1, 2021
Another user claimed Skittles used to “go white for pride,” sharing a different photograph of all-white Skittles:
— bean (@christapeterso) June 2, 2021
However, the image was in actuality far older than that. A June 14 2017 TIME.com item, “Not Everyone on the Internet Is Pumped That Skittles Went White for Pride Month,” confirmed that all-white Skittles were on store shelves that year. That same month (seemingly before this specific image circulated), another news organization reported that Skittles’ white Pride edition constituted “a subtly racist misfire.” (We would argue that the misfire was not subtle.)
Articles from 2017 included a longer explanation behind the white Skittles concept, which appeared on brand displays and read:
During Pride, only one rainbow matters
So we’ve given up ours to show support
As such, the white Skittles for Pride were definitely a thing — at least back in 2017. As for the photograph of a SPAR “Skittles White Pride” tag, the retailer itself confirmed it was “a labeling error” from 2020:
Hello, this was a labelling error last year that was quickly rectified. We will make sure it never happens again. Many thanks!
— SPAR There for you (@SPARintheUK) June 3, 2021
In sum, “white Pride Skittles” were a viral topic of discussion in 2017, when the candy company “gave up” its colors in support of Pride month, but the proximity of “white” and “Pride” sparked criticism and debate over its intent. The issue was exacerbated in 2020 when SPAR’s “labeling error” was photographed and shared to the internet. Late May and early June 2021 tweets suggested Skittles abandoned white “Pride Skittles” that year to sidestep the controversy of previous years, electing to color Skittles gray and retain the concept. At the same time, the 2020 SPAR image continued circulating.