A line of wines inspired by the hit Hulu television series “The Handmaid’s Tale” was scrapped within hours of its launch Tuesday due to online backlash.
People magazine revealed Tuesday morning that MGM and wine seller Lot18 were releasing a collection of wines inspired by the show. Two reds were named after Elisabeth Moss and Alexis Bledel’s characters, Offred and Ofglen, and a white wine was named for Yvonne Strahovski’s character Serena Joy.
“The Handmaid’s Tale,” based on the 1985 novel of the same name by Margaret Atwood, pictures a dystopian and barren society where the remaining fertile women are enslaved, raped, impregnated and forced to give up their babies to bureaucrats.
Offred, a Handmaid enslaved by Serena Joy and her husband, inspired a 2017 Pays d’Oc Pinot Noir, which Lot18 described as “rich and complex. Lush, fruit flavors of cherry and cassis are complemented by earthy flavors of mushroom and forest floor. We honor Offred with a wine that will stay with you long after you’ve finished your glass and a powerful experience you will never forget,” People reported.
Ofglen, also a handmaid, reportedly inspired a 2017 Rogue Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, “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.”
And Serena Joy’s 2016 Bordeaux Blanc was described as “sophisticated, traditional and austere… While the wine may initially come off as restrained, a few sips reveal it to be hiding layers of approachable white grapefruit and lemongrass, backed by weight and concentration,” People reported.
Social media users slammed the marketing stunt as stunningly tone-deaf.
I’m starting to think that aliens released a chemical into our water supply that is slowly making the entire world stupid. //t.co/ILj9qzbtEd
— Ian Millhiser (@imillhiser) July 11, 2018
Finally a product that combines everything I hate: wine, marketing, unbridled capitalism, and authoritarian patriarchal dystopias where women are chattel! //t.co/Hd7242e2nR
— andi zeisler (@andizeisler) 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. //t.co/gIRH62wdyf
— Jess Zimmerman (@j_zimms) July 10, 2018
Hours after People reported that the varietals had gone on sale, Lot18 decided to cancel the line.
“After further consideration, Lot18 and MGM have decided to cancel the line of wines inspired by The Handmaid’s Tale,” People reported.