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Executives at toymaker Hasbro have decided to pull a doll themed after the “Trolls” movie franchise after it was slammed by online advocates as potentially promoting pedophilia and child sexual abuse.
The company said in a statement Wednesday it has begun pulling the “Trolls World Tour Giggle and Sing Poppy” from store shelves and will instead design a replacement doll.
When kids press a button, the doll laughs, and giggles. But it’s the location of the button — between the doll’s legs, where genitalia is located on a real person — that caught the eye of child welfare watchdogs.
The first in the Trolls movie franchise produced by Dreamworks was released in 2016. In March, a sequel called “Trolls World Tour” came out as well. Actress Anna Kendrick is the voice of Poppy, the troll character the doll was modeled after.
“Our society is conditioning our children to think pedophilia 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. This is not okay for a child’s toy!” says a Change.org petition launched earlier this week by Jessica McManis.
As of this writing, signatures were rapidly approaching 300,000.
“What will this toy make our innocent, impressionable children think? That it’s fun when someone touches your private area? That pedophilia and child molestation are ok?” the petition asks.
Is @Hasbro normalizing grooming & facilitating child abuse? 🤔👇
— Sam Parker 🇺🇲 (@SamParkerSenate) August 5, 2020
The petition is aimed at Target, Walmart, Amazon and other sellers of the doll.
“This feature was designed to react when the doll was seated, but we recognize the placement of the sensor may be perceived as inappropriate,” Julie Duffy, a Hasbro spokeswoman. told the Providence Journal.
“This was not intentional and we are happy to provide consumers with a replacement Poppy doll of similar value through our consumer care team. We are in the process of removing the item for purchase.”
After Hasbro announced its decision to pull the doll, McManis tweeted her gratitude.
“I didn’t expect my petition to blow up like this! I’m so happy it did! They recalled the doll today,” she wrote. “There’s no way someone at Hasbro didn’t think that it was weird when deciding to create this doll like that.”
In a video, a woman who says she’s a mother demonstrates how the doll works. When the doll’s belly is touched, it begins singing. But when the dubiously located button is pressed, the female-sounding doll makes ‘gasping’ and other giggly sounds that could certainly be viewed as something grotesque.
“Down here is a button, right here on her privates, and if you push those, she makes these sounds,” the woman says.
“Like, a gasping sound? And I know some of you might not think this is a big deal but, especially since I’ve had kids, like, this is wrong,” she continued. “For one, it says nothing about this button on the box, nothing.
“It’s just, it’s just there. And it makes a gasping sound when you touch her privates. And to me, it’s just like sexual sounds, and it’s so disturbing.”
Jon is a staff writer for BizPac Review with 30 years’ worth of reporting experience, as well as an author and U.S. Army veteran. He has a BA in political science from Ashford University and an MA in national security studies/intelligence analysis from American Military University.