Friday, April 12, 2013

Mattel Pulls Mexico Barbie From Website Over "Stereotype" Controversy

Mattel added a Mexico Barbie to its "Dolls of the World" lineup, joining Spain, France, the Philippines, Holland, Chile and China.  All the dolls come with their own traditional dress, a passport, and in most cases an extra accessory. The French Barbie holds a basket of baguettes, the Dutch one a bunny, the Chilean a doggy, and the Chinese one a panda.  Spain and the Philippines get nothing, but Mattel added a chihuahua to the Mexican Barbie- after all, the breed did originate in Mexico, and the bulk of the dolls come with something typical of the country of origin. But the usual reactionaries have blasted Mattel claiming the doll is culturally offensive because it comes with the chihuahua and the passport. Huh?  Culturally offensive?  No-one has complained about the other dolls with 'stereotypical' accoutrements. 

As a result of the controversy, it looks like Mattel has  pulled the Mexican version since it is no longer available on their website.  It used to be there, according to this google search:

But if you click on the product link, you get "no results found", and a link to the Chilean Barbie doll.

Apparently you can get still get them on Amazon, and probably Ebay if you are dying for one of your own.

More on the controversy.

Of course this isn't the first time a company has pulled an item because of public backlash. Sears pulled its sexy burka halloween costume this past Fall. Then there's the Star Wars Lego that a Austrian/Turkish Muslim group claimed was racist. Although Lego denies it was because of Muslim backlash, they will no longer make the toy.

I'm sure we won't see the last of this kind of overreaction.

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