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They criticize Barbie of "exclusion" for her collection of the Olympic Games


Barbie has been criticized on social media for not including a Barbie of Asian origin in her collection dedicated to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

China criticizes Mattel for Olympic Barbie collection 1:03

(CNN) - 

Barbie, the most popular doll in the United States, has received much criticism on social media for not including a Barbie of Asian origin in its collection dedicated to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Mattel, the toy company that makes Barbie dolls, collaborated with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Tokyo 2020 organizers to launch a new line of dolls in February 2020 designed especially for the Games.

The collection includes five dolls that reflect the five new sports that have been added to the Olympic program this year: baseball / softball, sport climbing, karate, skateboarding and surfing.

Sky Brown, the young skater who shone in Tokyo 2020 2:34

Mattel worked with the Olympic Committee and the Tokyo 2020 organizers to design dolls that reflect the new sports on the Olympic program.

"Tokyo 2020 is a monumental event that brings the world together through sport and inspires fans of all ages," wrote Mattel Franchise Director Janet Hsu in a company news release.

"The Mattel Tokyo 2020 Collection honors these sports and inspires a new generation through the Olympic spirit and outstanding athletic tradition."

Despite an attempt to "[highlight] inclusion and innovation," many were quick to point out the absence of an Asian Barbie during its promotion last month.

People took to social media platforms, including Twitter and Instagram, to express their disappointment with Mattel for excluding an Asian doll, regardless of whether it was accidental or intentional.

"I will not buy Barbie dolls for my two daughters. There is no representation whatsoever," tweeted Michigan Macomb County Commissioner Mai Xiong, who immigrated to the United States as a Hmong refugee at the age of three.


Many users also wondered how Mattel could supposedly forget to include a visibly Asian Barbie, as the Games were held in Tokyo, a widely recognized Asian city, and with several Asian Pacific Islanders (AAPI) making headlines after winning medals for Team USA, including Sunisa Lee, the first Hmong American to compete with the USA, who made history as the first Asian, of any nationality, to win gold in the all-around individual gymnastics event.

Social media users have questioned why Mattel hasn't included an Asian doll given the prominence of AAPI athletes and the location of the Olympics in Tokyo.

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"Mattel makes #AsianAmericans (Asian Americans) invisible while promoting the 'most diverse doll line yet', highlighting one Asian country, featuring #Barbie in a Japanese karate uniform, [and] marking each doll as 'Tokyo official', "tweeted Japanese-American visual artist Drue Kataoka.

Diversified Barbie dolls have proven to be quite popular.

Weeks before the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony, Barbie released a doll inspired by Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka as part of the Barbie Role Model series.

The doll sold out within hours of going on sale.

CNN contacted Mattel for comment.


Source: cnnespanol

All news articles on 2021-08-10

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