Mattel recently launched a new transgender Barbie doll to honor trans celebrity Laverne Cox on the occasion of Pride month. But reading the fine print on the box reveals the doll is manufactured in Indonesia, where gay and transgender people still experience widespread discrimination and same-sex marriage is illegal.
The “Laverne Cox Barbie Tribute Collection” doll, which is intended for ages six and up, features a posable likeness of the Orange Is the New Black star wearing a red ball gown with a translucent skirt that reveals Cox’s legs. The collector’s item retails for $40.
“Laverne Cox uses her voice to amplify the message of moving beyond societal expectations to live more authentically,” Mattel said in praising the Hollywood celebrity.
It remains highly questionable if Cox could live “authentically” in Indonesia, where the doll is manufactured, according to official product labeling. While homosexuality isn’t a crime in the overwhelmingly Muslim country, gays and transgenders still face criminal persecution in the country’s Aceh province, where Sharia is the official law.
Sharia forbids same-sex relations of any kind. Last year, authorities in Aceh publicly flogged two men 77 times each after they were allegedly caught having sex.
Homosexuality in the rest of the country is still taboo. This week, Indonesia summoned Britain’s ambassador to explain the raising of a rainbow flag at its embassy.
“The foreign ministry reminds foreign representatives to be respectful of the sensitivities among Indonesians on matters relevant with their culture, religion and belief,” an Indonesian official said in a statement to Reuters.
Same-sex marriage is still illegal in Indonesia. In recent years, government authorities have cracked down on gays, using the country’s anti-pornography laws to make arrests.
Mattel didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from Breitbart News.
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