August 10, 2021 3:00:19 pm
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.
#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.🏅 #YouCanBeAnything #tokyo2020 #Olympics https://t.co/MFjn2ZhfvW pic.twitter.com/XftIDTaZMo
— Barbie (@Barbie) July 28, 2021
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.
According to Mattel you can can anything , but ASIAN if you want to be included. The Olympics is literally happening in Asia. An Asian countries has the most gold medals. An Asian-American won gold in one of the biggest and most poplar event. Talk about tone deaf. Do much better!
— Allen Chan (@achan0501) August 6, 2021
Where is the Asian Barbie? You needed two white Barbies? Why? Most of the American women winning 🥇 are not white . Why is it always the Asian Barbies that you don’t have ?!?
— PrettyPoodle💛💙🐩⁷ (@GratefultoJesus) August 7, 2021
So disappointing that by trying to be inclusive you exclude almost 60% of the world’s population as well as that of the host country. Many of the top female athletes in the Olympics are asian. This was not an oversight but blatant racism.
— Tammy w (@tammyinmarin) August 6, 2021
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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