Mattel, the manufacturing company behind the iconic toy Barbie, is facing fire from the social media-driven cancel mob purportedly for not including an Asian Barbie doll in its new line of dolls commemorating the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Mattel collaborated with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Tokyo 2020 organizers to release the new collection, according to a report by CNN.
“#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,” Barbie tweeted, showing off its five new “#tokyo2020” dolls, none of which appear to be Asian.
#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
Social media users quickly took to Twitter and Instagram to express their dismay over the new doll collection’s lack of Asian representation.
“I won’t be buying Barbie dolls for my two girls. No representation whatsoever,” tweeted Michigan Macomb County Commissioner Mai Xiong.
Twitter users also pointed out that an Asian country is hosting the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, of which the new doll line was based off.
“It’s the Tokyo olympics and no Asian barbie haha,” one Twitter user commented.
“According to Mattel you can can anything, but ASIAN if you want to be included,” another wrote. “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.”
“Wow. Wordless. Olympics in an Asian country yet zero attempt to represent any Asians in your collection. Shame on you @Barbie,” a fourth Twitter user said.
“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,” another wrote.
— Drue Kataoka 🌎 (@DrueKataoka) July 31, 2021
This was not Mattel’s first time engaging in eyebrow-raising behavior.
In 2019, Mattel introduced a Barbie doll line of “gender-neutral dolls” to target children who do not want their “toys to be dictated by gender norms.”