Hasbro Must Ensure Toys Do Not Sexualize Children

Written by PTC | Published December 15, 2020

LOS ANGELES (December 15, 2020) – In a letter to Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner, the Parents Television Council is requesting that the company publicly clarify that the company has taken steps to ensure toys that sexualize children do not make it to market. While Hasbro pulled the Poppy Trolls doll from shelves in August, following outcry that pressing a button between the doll’s legs made her giggle and laugh, the company hasn’t publicly answered what procedures or policies it changed to prevent this from happening again.

Hasbro owns many famous toy brands including Tonka, Nerf, Transformers, Marvel Action Figures, Play-Doh, and board games like Monopoly and Clue.

“As parents shop for their children this holiday season, they want to know that toys they buy will not sexualize their children,” said PTC President Tim Winter. “Hasbro must provide an answer to the hundreds of thousands of concerned Americans who were outraged by Hasbro’s decision to originally greenlight the sexualized Trolls doll that this kind of toy will never again make it to market.”

Mr. Winter called on Mr. Goldner to answer two questions:
1) What has Hasbro done to address and correct this matter internally?
2) Will Hasbro publicly commit that nothing like this will ever happen again?

“A Hasbro spokesperson at the time noted that the placement of the button on the doll’s genital area ‘may be perceived as inappropriate.’ But such a tepid response was not only disingenuous, it flies in the face of the numerous corporate approvals that Hasbro employees authorized when the doll was designed, produced and marketed. In fact the button on the genital area – one of only two buttons that would trigger a verbal response from the doll – was not even referred to in the company’s own product description, nor was it mentioned on the doll’s packaging,” Winter continued.

“As we noted in our public statements last August, this product is a frightening example of the grotesque sexual exploitation of children that is increasingly rampant in today’s entertainment environment. And we note that Hasbro holds itself out as a ‘global play and entertainment company.’ The sexualization of children must never, ever be used for the sake of entertainment, especially by a major toy brand like Hasbro. Quite frankly, anyone and everyone involved in Hasbro’s decision to add a ‘giggle button’ on a female doll’s genital area should be fired.”

The PTC’s full letter to Hasbro can be found here: https://www.parentstv.org/images/pages/PTC-letter-to-Hasbro-re-Troll-Dolls.pdf

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