A classic Woolworths mud cake with icing reading ‘Special Person’s Day’ has shoppers in uproar on Father’s Day.
The chocolate cake was photographed sitting with a pile of others prepared for sale in the lead-up to the national day for celebrating male roles models.
Other cakes had white icing reading ‘dad’ and ‘pop’, with only one bearing the controversial alternative tribute.
A photo was shared on social media and reposted more than a hundred times to the supermarket’s Facebook page, with most shoppers outraged.
‘Dear Woolworths, this better be a sick joke on your behalf, if not this is really disrespectful,’ one wrote.
‘My dad is my hero and to think that a day that is supposed to be about making father’s like mine feel special is being attacked and now supported in my local supermarkets makes me sick to the stomach,’ another wrote.
‘Just because you weren’t loved by your dad as a kid doesn’t mean the rest of the dads out there don’t love their kids!’ a third vented.
Many shoppers, either on Wooloworths’ page or elsewhere on social media, vowed to never shop at the retail giant again.
‘This is a down right (sic) disgrace to me as a father and I won’t be shopping for cakes at Woolworths anymore,’ one wrote.
‘Lost my business permanently now. This Australia. We celebrate Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. This is a disgraceful act,’ another wrote.
But many other customers thanked Woolworths for being more inclusive and shared stories of their children or relatives who didn’t have fathers to celebrate with.
‘Thank you Woolworths. If I had known previously I would have bought a cake myself!’ one mother wrote.
‘My sons father isn’t present in his life. Never has been. Do I buy a cake saying happy fathers day? No.’
Others pointed out that the cake was next to a pile of others decorated with traditional tributes to fathers and grandfathers.
‘It’s not like the dad cakes weren’t still available what sort of father would be outraged by sharing their day with other people who care for children as they do? What a horrible message to send to kids,’ one wrote.
‘It’s a shame that some people are so small minded that they are offended by a cake that no one is forcing them to buy,’ another wrote.
Woolworths said it was investigating the display but that it ‘appears to be a one-off incident’.
‘We’re currently looking into this display with our store teams. We want to re-assure you that we’re helping all customers across Australia celebrate Father’s Day as seen from our store displays, products and recipe ideas,’ it said.
‘Cropped out of this image are a range of decorative cakes that have different messages on them, including “Dad” and “Happy Father’s Day”.’
The cake’s icing is likely prompted by early childhood activist Dr Red Ruby Scarlet, who is pushing for the day to be renamed ‘Special Person’s Day’.
Her reasoning was to prevent children without fathers from being offended.
‘Why are we calling this political correctness when in fact it’s about our rights?,’ Dr Scarlet told Today Tonight.
‘There’s a lot of Australian research that has actually informed a lot of international research … that has demonstrated children’s capacity to be really inclusive once they know about these ideas and they think, ‘Wow, why are people seeing this as a controversy?.’
New South Wales Liberal minister David Elliott, who hails from Sydney’s Hills District, said ‘rubbish’ like this would only incite extremists.
‘Can’t believe that someone who professes to be ‘enlightened’ would advocate such crap’,’ he said.