‘Gross error of judgement’ This Morning panel tear apart ‘woke’ advent calendar

Vanessa Feltz and Matthew Wright slam woke advent calendar

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On Monday’s This Morning, viewers were thrilled to see Josie Gibson and Vernon Kay co-present the ITV programme. During the show, the duo spoke with Vanessa Feltz and Matthew Wright about the latest news headlines. However, the discussion soon got heated as they chatted about Tony’s Chocolonely Countdown Calendar which is missing a chocolate for December 8.

The reason behind the chocolate company’s decision is to increase awareness about slave labour.

Discussing the “woke” advent calendar on the show, Vernon began: “The company decided to leave the window for the 8th December empty to educate customers about the wrongs of the world.

“The company chose to do it to highlight slave labour practices of the company’s rivals.”

“Interesting,” the host added as he turned to Vanessa to ask about her views.

“I’d just like to hear about the meeting,” Vanessa replied. “If only we could have been flies on the wall.

“At that development meeting, ‘you know what would be a good idea, let’s use this advent calendar to teach people a moral lesson’.

“Let’s literally take candy from a baby. That would be nice,” Vanessa sarcastically continued. “That would be full of Christmas spirit.”

Matthew chipped in: “On the 24th they put two chocolates in, but of course the child doesn’t know that.”

“This really does seem to be an absolutely gross error of judgement, doesn’t it?” Vanessa raged.

Matthew replied: “My initial reaction was just like that. Tony’s Chocolonely, I’ve never heard of them before.

“But they as a company when you look them up online, as soon as you go online, ‘we are here to challenge slavery within the production of chocolate’.”

“I didn’t know this,” Matthew admitted. “That’s how slavery is…modern human slavery.”

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 “They as a company have made a stand,” the presenter added although claimed the calendar may not have been the best move.

He continued: “The trouble is when people buy an advent calendar, they’re not buying gesture politics. They’re not buying a moral lesson.

“If it’s a child under a certain age all they want is the chocolate.”

On December 8, the chocolate company even took to social media to explain the empty chocolate window.

They penned: “Happy day 8 Choco Fans! Notice something different in your calendar today? 

“Yep, it’s empty… And why? ‘Cos at Tony’s we use our products to tell the story of the choco industry – an industry unequally divided and choc-full of inequality.” (sic)



The move sparked division with consumers, and many were quick to reply to Tony’s tweet.

Nicola wrote: “I may be in the minority here, but this was a devastating blow to me today. 

“My children are also confused, my youngest close to tears. I don’t think this was a great teachable moment. Hard Fail.”

Lisa raged: “Please remember your audience, a face of disappointment from my child this morning. He didn’t understand why to start with…. His sister shared her advent choc. An important cause just not in an advent calendar.” (sic)

As JJ pointed out: “It’s a nice sentiment but very poorly executed. Thankfully I don’t have kids, so I don’t have to deal with any crying.”

This Morning airs weekdays at 10am on ITV. 

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