Hasbro pulls Trolls doll from stores over button some say promotes child abuse
Parents have been left shocked by Hasbro’s latest Trolls Doll.
US mum Jessica McManis was disgusted when she realised the new Trolls doll she had purchased had a button between its legs which made giggling and groaning noises when pushed
Determined for it not to be on shop shelves, McManis launched an online petition to have it removed from stores.
On Change.org she wrote: “Our society is conditioning our children to think paedophilia is ok. This Trolls World Tour doll named Poppy has a button on her private area under her skirt.
“When you push this button on the doll’s private she gasps and giggles,” wrote McManis in the petition.
“This is not okay for a child’s toy! This toy needs to be removed from our stores. What will this toy make our innocent, impressionable children think? That it’s fun when someone touches your private area? That paedophilia and child molestation are ok? It’s not ok! It’s not fun! It’s damaging and has long term effects on a child’s mental/physical health!”
Since launched, the petition has been signed by over 400,000 people and it continues to grow at a fast rate. It has been directed at larger toy retailers, such as Amazon, and, in the states, Walmart and Target.
A now-viral video of the Trolls "Poppy" doll shows one button on its stomach, which is advertised on the packaging and another, which led to confusion among buyers. It says clearly on the back of the box that if you press the first button on the stomach, the doll will say ten phrases and sounds. But there’s no mention of a button under the doll’s skirt placed on the “private area,” the video noted. When pressing that second button, the doll gasps and makes sounds like, “Whee!” and “Oh!” which people have complained are a disturbing sexualization of the children’s toy.
Is @Hasbro normalizing grooming & facilitating child abuse? ??
— Sam Parker ?? (@SamParkerSenate) August 5, 2020
The story was quickly picked up by major online newspapers and media across the globe, and in a statement about the controversy, Hasbro said that the doll was designed to making a laughing sound, “but we recognize the placement of the sensor may be perceived as inappropriate. But this was not intentional."
It is worth noting that fact-checking website, LeadStories.com, has looked at this, and recently concluded:
"The button on the rear bottom of the toy was designed to trigger giggling sounds whenever the doll is placed in a sitting position."