Jelly Belly could be in trouble.
On Monday, Hollywood and internet darling Anna Kendrick shed light on the candy company’s alleged connection to an “anti-trans students campaign.”
The actress tweeted:
Just randomly discovered Jelly Belly donated to anti-trans-students campaign in 2013. Know any good alternatives for my jelly bean cravings?
— Anna Kendrick (@AnnaKendrick47) August 3, 2015
This is partially true, according to various media reports.
In 2013, the Huffington Post noted. that Jelly Belly Candy Company’s chairman, Herman G. Rowland Sr., had donated $US5,000 to Privacy for All Students, an organisation that made a concerted effort to strip away California’s Assembly Bill 1266, which granted transgender students rights.
According to the Associated Press (via CBS), the bill allowed transgender students (kindergarten through 12th grade) to select which bathroom they identified with, making California the first state to pass such groundbreaking legislation.
A Facebook group, Boycott Jelly Belly, emerged, which highlighted articles circulating the internet that promoted transgender rights, as well as various memes and complaints, such as:
As well as:
One post read, “End the boycott! Jelly Belly’s CEO is a great-grandfather; thus, he is allowed to use company profits for ‘personal donations’ to hate groups working against the rights of transgender children. Sigh. Jelly Belly is not only totally aware of their owner’s actions but keeps justifying those actions and trying to wash their hands of bigotry. Here’s an idea for Jelly Belly: principles over profit. That’s a concept Jelly Belly should write into its company mission and fire their Chairman if they truly support ALL children.
The post was accompanied by a photo of a note from Jelly Belly:
In 2013, Buzzfeed acquired a letter from the National Center for Transgender Equality, requesting that Rowland rethink his donation. Buzzfeed also noted that Rowland’s donation was not nearly as big as some other supporters, some of whom donated upwards of $US10,000; one donor gave $US80,000.
While this may be old news to many, Kendrick’s prominent internet presence (she has over 4.5 million followers on Twitter), could prove to be detrimental to Jelly Belly — even though the chairman, not the entire company — donated money two years ago.
We’ve reached out to Jelly Belly for comment and will update if we hear back.