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Mattel criticised for failing to include Asian Barbie in its Olympics 2020 doll collection

People were quick to point out that despite its innovation, the collection of dolls lacked inclusivity. They noticed during the re-promotion that there was no Asian Barbie in the collection of dolls

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi |
August 10, 2021 3:00:19 pm
Mattel, Mattel toys, Mattel Barbie collection, Mattel Barbie controversy, Mattel Olympics 2020 Barbie collection, Asian representation, indian express newsMattel tweeted that Barbie is "committed to empowering girls to participate in sports by capturing the fun and friendship of the season, and inspiring kids to find the athlete within". (Photo: Twitter/@Barbie)

The Tokyo Olympics 2020 just concluded, and it was a solid few days of athletes from around the world putting up their best performances. And while it deserves to be commemorated, Barbie-manufacturer Mattel is facing criticism on social media for a collection of Olympics 2020 dolls that has no Asian representation.

According to a CNN report, Mattel had collaborated with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Tokyo 2020 organisers to release a new line of dolls in February 2020 for the Games. The collection is essentially a celebration of five dolls that reflect the five new sports that were added to the Olympics this year, namely baseball/softball, sport climbing, karate, skateboarding and surfing.

In a press statement, Mattel chief franchise officer Janet Hsu said, “Tokyo 2020 is a monumental event that brings the world together through sport and inspires fans of all ages. The Mattel Tokyo 2020 Collection honours these sports and inspires a new generation through the Olympic spirit and outstanding athletic tradition.”

But people were quick to point out that despite its innovation, the collection of dolls lacked inclusivity. They noticed during the re-promotion last month that there was no Asian Barbie in the collection of dolls.

So, while Mattel tweeted that Barbie is “committed to empowering girls to participate in sports by capturing the fun and friendship of the season, and inspiring kids to find the athlete within”, people expressed their disappointment; take a look.

Mattel, so far, has not reacted to the criticism. It is strange that the toy manufacturer would miss adding an Asian doll to its collection this year, especially since the Olympics 2020 happened in an Asian country (Japan), and saw the participation of so many Asian-origin athletes from around the world.

What do you think?  

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