It would be an understatement of epic proportions to say that 2020 has been one hell of a year, and we’re still only in August. The effects of the Coronavirus pandemic and the widespread calls for social change will be felt well into the future, and it’ll be a long time yet before things start to return to any semblance of normality.
The movie industry has been hit particularly hard, with theaters around the world remaining shuttered as the release calendar continues to empty on an almost daily basis, meaning the studios have had to shift their business models to accommodate the situation, with many titles that were initially set for a big screen debut being sent to streaming instead.
One of the biggest beneficiaries of this has somewhat surprisingly been Trolls World Tour, with the animated sequel bringing in $95 million in VOD revenue in less than three weeks after it first became available. However, it isn’t all good news, as toy manufacturers Hasbro have now pulled one of the movie’s dolls from shelves after 400,000 furious parents signed a petition claiming that the merchandise glorified child abuse.
If that sounds crazy, don’t forget that we’re in the same week where Kindergarten Cop was removed from a drive-in theater after just one person took issue with the family comedy’s depiction of a police presence in schools. While the doll in question does have a pretty serious design flaw, the reasoning behind the petition has more than a hint of the Karens to it, as you can see below:
“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 privates she gasps and giggles. This is not okay for a child’s toy! This toy needs to be removed from our stores. 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! It’s not fun! It’s damaging and has long term effects on a child’s mental/physical health! Sign this petition to get this toy removed from shelves and help #SaveTheChildren! Children are our future and WE are their voice!”
Look at this Trolls Poppy doll. It gasps and giggles when you push the button on its private area. They’re conditioning our children to think pedophilia is ok. To make them think when someone touches your private it should be fun ? It’s not ok!
Sign ? https://t.co/vCoVocr4y9 pic.twitter.com/g9DWPCzWKE
— Jessica McManis (@JessiMcmanis) August 5, 2020
— Jessica (@jessertweets) August 4, 2020
Hasbro definitely messed up when it came to designing the Trolls World Tour doll, and it seems surprising that nobody picked up on the awkwardly-placed sensor until it was already on the shelves. That being said, over 400,000 people have definitely noticed now, and as a result, an animated feature aimed squarely at the youngest demographic currently finds itself caught up in a storm of bad publicity.