Hasbro Pulling Trolls Doll Due to Sensor Placement That 'May Be Perceived as Inappropriate'
The sensor's placement "was not intentional and we are happy to provide consumers with a replacement Poppy doll," said Hasbro spokeswoman Julie Duffy
Hasbro is pulling one of its toys from shelves after a Change.org petition alleged that the placement of one of its features could have "long term affects on a child's mental/physical health."
In the petition, Jessica McManis wrote that the Dreamworks Trolls World Tour Giggle and Sing Poppy doll — which "gasps and giggles" upon activation of a sensor between the toy's legs underneath its skirt, as shown in a video shared on Twitter — "needs to be removed from our stores."
"Our society is conditioning our children to think pedophilia is ok," she added. "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?"
"It's not ok!" McManis continued in the petition's description. "It's not fun! It's damaging and has long term affects [sic] on a child's mental/physical health!"
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Hasbro spokeswoman Julie Duffy gave a statement to the Providence Journal, insisting that the placement of the sensor "was not intentional."
"This feature was designed to react when the doll was seated, but we recognize the placement of the sensor may be perceived as inappropriate," she said in her email to the publication.
"This was not intentional and we are happy to provide consumers with a replacement Poppy doll of similar value through our consumer care team," Duffy added. "We are in the process of removing the item for purchase."
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The 2-minute video was re-posted to Twitter on Wednesday by politician Sam Parker. It was originally recorded by a mom whose daughter received the doll as a gift for her recent second birthday, for which she had a Poppy-themed party.
"I find this disturbing and I find it something that needs to be shared," the mom said from behind the camera, adding that she was inspired to speak out about the doll because of "sex trafficking in kids and things that are thrown in our kids' faces to groom them and make them more oblivious to things that are really happening."
"I know some of you may not think this is a big deal, but especially since I've had kids ... this is wrong," she said. "It says nothing about this button on the box."
The Change.org petition — aimed at retailers like Target, Walmart and Amazon — had over 145,000 signatures as of Thursday afternoon.