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April 13, 2023
Barbie, a toy brand from Mattel, is receiving criticism for not including an Asian doll in its Tokyo 2020 collection.
Upon a partnership with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the collection made its debut in February of last year. In a press release, Mattel said the product line “… highlights inclusivity and innovation, with toys reflecting the five new sports added to the Olympic program in Tokyo – baseball/softball, sport climbing, karate, skateboarding and surfing – all to inspire a new generation of athletes and fans around the world.”
Since the 2020 Olympic games were delayed, the collection did not release until this year and subsequently gained traction on Twitter. On a post showcasing the Olympic athlete Barbies, users criticized the company for specifically failing to include an Asian doll.
United Chinese Americans responded to the incident in a Tweet, saying, “Anti-racism and true inclusion includes: Asian American and Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander.” Artist and technologist Drue Kataoka wrote, “Mattel renders #AsianAmericans invisible while touting ‘most diverse doll line yet,’ highlighting an Asian country, featuring #Barbie in Japanese karate uniform [and] branding each doll ‘Tokyo official.’”
ARTICLE: ANTOINETTE AHO
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: OLYMPICS.COM