That’s what several parents are saying after hearing their children’s talking Minions toys from McDonald’s spout out what they claim to be swear words.
Local news outlets in Florida and Ohio reported this week that concerned parents are interpreting one of the Happy Meal prize’s sayings as “What the f—?”
“It turned out to be a toy that decided to talk profanity,” Florida grandparent Bradley Merten told local Orlando ABC affiliate WFTV. “I can’t believe it’s coming out of a toy.”
His family contacted WFTV after purchasing the toy. McDonald’s is including one of three talking Minions toys in its happy meals as a promotion for the Universal movie, which hits theaters Friday. The allegedly foul-mouthed Minion seems to be the loincloth-wearing one.
The Florida grandfather said he was concerned his granddaughter would pick up the phrase, adding of McDonald’s, “Check their toys before they hand them over.”
Similarly, in Ohio, fathers Taylor King and Robert Frazier heard the Minions in their kids’ Happy Meals cursing and didn’t want their kids to hear it.
“I heard what it said and I’m like, ‘Whoa, hang on here,'” King told Columbus, Ohio, Fox affiliate WTTE. “It clearly says what it says.”
Frazier added, “As soon as we heard it, her mom took it away. I listened to it and that’s when we found out that’s what it was saying.”
One parent also posted the below YouTube video in which he claims the toy says, “Well, I’ll be damned,” and, “What the f—?”
McDonald’s told The Hollywood Reporter that the toys aren’t cursing but speak “Minionese.”
“Minions speak ‘Minionese,’ which is a random combination of many languages and nonsense words and sounds,” a rep for McDonald’s said via email. “We’re aware of a very small number of customers who have been in touch regarding this toy, and we apologize for any confusion or offense to those who may have interpreted the sounds as anything other than gibberish. The allegation that this toy is saying any offensive phrase is not true. Any perceived similarities to actual English words are purely coincidental.”
Furthermore, McDonald’s told THR what the Caveman Minion is saying: “Para la bukay,” “Ha ha ha,” and “Eh eh.”
On Friday, McDonald’s said it has no plans to pull the toy early despite widespread media reports about parents’ concerns. Despite the high volume of coverage, a source familiar with the situation said the fast-food chain is not hearing from many customers about the issue.
Universal declined to comment beyond what McDonald’s said.
Universal’s Minions, the prequel following the lovable yellow creatures from the Despicable Mefilms, hits theaters Friday and features the voices of Sandra Bullock, Allison Janney and Jon Hamm.