We didn’t think the minions of Despicable Me could make anyone but Gru (Steve Carell) angry. Apparently, they can irk parents all around the United States and not just because they speak their own language. Actually, it is because they speak their own language, and some think the gibberish sounds like inappropriate English.
Let’s back up. McDonald’s is putting minion toys in their Happy Meals in honor of the new movie, Minions. When you press them, they speak their secret language. One mother from Alabama noticed that while the beginning sounds like nonsense, toward the end, it sounds like the toy is saying, “W-T-F.” A grandfather in Florida thought the words came from his young granddaughter, and he was shocked when the “toy decided to talk profanity.” It’s not just a regional thing. Parents everywhere in America are hearing what sounds like curse words in a children’s toy. They have to be onto something, right?
McDonald’s thinks these parents are wrong. An official statement from McDonald’s spokesperson Lisa McComb claims that the minions speak their own language (“Minionese,” of course), and the language is “a random combination of many languages and nonsense words and sounds.” She also claims that the company is “very aware” with the concerns some customers are having, and they are sorry about it. Finally, McComb wants consumers to know that “the allegation that this toy is saying any offensive phrase is not true.”
We do believe that this was unintentional and that McDonald’s wouldn’t plant curse words into kids’ heads like that. However, we do think their ears need to be a little more open. You never know what people are going to hear, and if that many people hear the same, somewhat raunchy thing, there might be an issue. However, some psychologists report that even if parents teach their kids that the minions are saying “bad words,” that kind of language causes very little harm if any at all.