No Asian Barbie in doll collection dedicated to Tokyo Olympics
- The collection highlighted the new disciplines that were included in the Olympics program
- The new line of dolls were released in February
- The collection faced flak for not having a single Asian Barbie
Barbie, America's most popular fashion doll, is facing flak for not featuring an Asian barbie in their collection that is dedicated to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. Mattel, the toy company which produces Barbie dolls, released a new line of dolls in February in collaboration with the International Olympic Committee dedicated to the Tokyo Summer Games.
The collection included five dolls that showcasing the five new discipline that was included in the Olympic program - baseball/softball, sport climbing, karate, skateboarding and surfing.
"Tokyo 2020 is a monumental event that brings the world together through sport and inspires fans of all ages," Mattel Chief Franchise Officer Janet 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."
However, the company failed miserably at their attempt to highlight inclusivity as an Asian Barbie was absent from the group.
"I won't be buying Barbie dolls for my two girls. No representation whatsoever," Michigan Macomb County Commissioner Mai Xiong tweeted. He immigrated to the United States as a Hmong refugee at the age of three.
Numerous users wondered how did the company miss out on including an Asian Barbie since the Games was hosted in Tokyo.
"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,'" Japanese American visual artist Drue Kataoka tweeted.
"Gosh you can't make this up. It's the TOKYO Olympics. Try for a single asian barbie?!" said one user.
"Mattel forgetting to make an Asian barbie for the TOKYO OLYMPICS collection is insane," said another user.
"When Mattel makes Barbie dolls for the Tokyo Olympics and forget that Tokyo is in Japan," the trolls weren't far behind.
In their earlier attempts, diversified Barbie dolls were welcomed by the public. Ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Barbie had even released a doll modeled on Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka as part of the Barbie Role Model series. Reportedly, the doll sold out just hours after being released.