HomeAsian AmericansBarbie Olympics dolls face backlash over lack of Asian representation

Barbie Olympics dolls face backlash over lack of Asian representation

Mattel faces criticism after releasing a collection dedicated to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games with no Asian representation, CNN reports.

According to The Independent, Mattel collaborated with the International Olympics Committee and Tokyo 2020 organizers to feature five dolls that showcase the five newly added Olympic sports. Although Mattel made dolls to represent baseball/softball, sport climbing, karate, skateboarding and surfing, no dolls were made to represent the Asian demographic.

“Very disappointed with @Barbie I was so excited to buy an Asian Barbie Doll that represents an Olympic sport, but there’s literally no Asian representation in the limited edition range for Tokyo 2020… #fireyourdesigner,” one user on Twitter said.

Before the release of the dolls, Mattel Chief Franchise Officer Janet Hsu stated that this new collection intended to inspire fans and help audiences feel excitement for the new games.

“Tokyo 2020 is a monumental event that brings the world together through sport and inspires fans of all ages,” Hsu wrote in a Mattel press statement. “The Mattel Tokyo 2020 Collection honors these sports and inspires a new generation through the Olympic spirit and outstanding athletic tradition.”

Despite the statement, people on social media are still upset.

Despite the controversy , Mattel recently released a Barbie doll based on Dr. Audrey Sue Cruz, a Filipino Las Vegas physician and one of six global frontline workers that Mattel honored.

An Instagram post featuring Cruz holding up her Barbie doll went less than a week ago.

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  1. I, as a storyteller activist, has been confronting conference speakers and more about this ‘black and white’ world they see, leaving out Asians, Pacific Islanders, Latinos and American Indians. Each keynote talked only about whites and blacks. Tired. I do a solo piece about that. Have performed it several times now. Need to do it more or even publish it. So tired of having to teach these so called Experts both black and white that we are here and have been for over 170 years!!


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