Things That Matter

These Dolls Have Buttons On Their Private Parts That Parents Say Could Encourage Sexual Assault

There has long been a discussion about the meaning of toys in children’s lives – and along with it, plenty of controversy. From Barbie to Bratz dolls, there has long been talk about the sexualization of kids’ toys, especially those that are marketed to young girls.

Now, a new toy is helping reignite those conversations. A Trolls World Tour doll, specifically the Giggle & Sing Poppy, has been pulled from the shelves due to a massive controversy. The incident is becoming so controversial that a Change.org petition has gained more than 300,000 signatures. Now, the toys manufacturer, Hasbro, has been forced to pull the toy.

Hasbro has recalled a collection of ‘Trolls’ dolls from stores after complaints from concerned parents.

Famous toy maker Hasbro has said that it will remove a line of Trolls dolls from store shelves after people complained that a button on the doll is inappropriately placed under its skirt. The decision comes after an online petition was created urging stores to remove the “Trolls World Tour Giggle and Sing Poppy” doll. 

The petition has massed nearly 300,000 signatures. “When you push this button on the doll’s private she gasps and giggles. This is not okay for a child’s toy! This toy needs to be removed from our stores,” reads the petition, which is addressed to Target, Walmart, Amazon, Dollar General and Family Dollar stores.

In a statement to Forbes, Julie Duffy, senior vice president of global communications at Hasbro, said: “This feature was designed to react when the doll was seated, but we recognize the placement of the sensor may be perceived as inappropriate.”

“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,” Duffy’s statement continued. 

A video of a mom demonstrating the doll’s button has gone viral on several social media platforms.

All the drama started, as it often does these days, on social media. An Instagram video by a concerned parent said that her 2-year-old daughter was gifted the Giggle & Sing Poppy for her birthday

In the video, she implies that she thinks that the company is “grooming our kids” for sex trafficking. Other parents seemed to agree. Jessica McManis recently started a Change.org petition to remove the doll from shelves, writing “Our society is conditioning our children to think pedophilia is ok.” The petition has now gone viral with almost 300,000 signatures. 

Instagram has now added a fact checking label on the video video to confirm that, y’know, “There is no evidence, beyond the fears of some mothers, that the button is part of a secret strategy by the toymaker to prep kids for sex trafficking.” 

‘Trolls’ dolls have long been popular and this latest controversy likely won’t hurt the iconic brand.

Credit: Alex Block / Getty Images

Trolls dolls were originally created in 1959 and have gone through so many iterations. I remember playing with them as a kid in the 90s. And they’re once again gaining in popularity thanks to a recent movie from the franchise.

Poppy, voiced by Anna Kendrick, is one of the main characters in the latest Trolls film. “Trolls World Tour” premiered for on-demand video streaming in April when most of the world was in quarantine, and Universal announced that it had the biggest opening day and weekend for a digital title, according to Variety.

These dolls aren’t the first ones to stir up some serious controversy.

Talk about despicable. In 2015, McDonald’s included a Minion toy in every Happy Meal box as a tie-in with the animated blockbuster featuring the breakout stars of the Despicable Me franchise. Like their big-screen counterparts, these bright yellow toys spoke in their own unique language… except for one particular phrase. Parents became convinced that a caveman Minion blurted out “What the f***” and took to YouTube to post the evidence.

For its part, McDonald’s insisted this just wasn’t true. “The allegation that this toy is saying any offensive phrase is not true,” a McDonald’s spokeswoman said in a statement provided to CNBC. “We apologise for any confusion or offence to those who may have interpreted the sounds for anything other than gibberish.”

I mean…who thought a vibrating broomstick was a good idea?!

Credit: Amazon.com

A long and vibrating toy doesn’t sound like a toy for children… But that’s what Mattel had planned for its vibrating version of Harry Potter’s signature Quidditch broomstick. However, Amazon comments by parent reviewers quickly revealed a different story. The toy company pulled the Nimbus from circulation.

Also, Elmo was already terrifying but this is next level.

The talking Elmo doll – which was super popular in 2008 – made headlines when the already kind of scary looking Elmo was spitting out Chucky-esque death threats. A Florida woman claimed that the doll was threatening her two-year old son and local news footage seemed to back up her claims.

The doll – which parents could program to utter 100 personalized phrases – was allegedly saying “Kill James.” Fisher-Price ultimately offered to replace the mother’s toy, but that’s a case where you definitely don’t want Elmo to know your name.

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Cardi B Explains Why She Turned Off ‘WAP’ When Her Daughter Walked Into the Room: ‘I Don’t Make Music For Kids’

Entertainment

Cardi B Explains Why She Turned Off ‘WAP’ When Her Daughter Walked Into the Room: ‘I Don’t Make Music For Kids’

Photo via kulturekiari/Instagram

Cardi B is tired of people criticizing her for the racy lyrics to “WAP”. On Monday, the Grammy-winning rapper defended herself against haters who called her out for turning off her multi-platinum song “WAP” when her daughter entered the room.

The drama started earlier this week when Cardi went viral for a recent livestream fail.

During the livestream, Cardi appeared to be having a great time, dancing and singing along to her hit single, but quickly turned the music off when she saw her two-year-old daughter, Kulture enter the room.

Cardi mumbled “No, no, no, no,” as she shut off the raunchy song. Then, she coyly took a sip of wine.

While some people found this incident funny (and relatable), there were a select few who didn’t.

Some haters took the video as an opportunity to call Cardi hypocritical for shielding her daughter from her own song while little kids around the world are being exposed to the NSFW lyrics.

“So ya daughter cant listen to it but everybody else’s daughter can @iamcardib?” wrote an infuriated Twitter user. “AW OKAY! Exactly what I been saying you have an agenda to push with that trash ass label your with. DISGUSTING”.

Cardi didn’t waste any time defending herself. “Ya needs to stop with this already!” Cardi wrote back. “I’m not Jojo Siwa! I don’t make music for kids, I make music for adults. Parents are responsible on what their children listen to or see. I’m a very sexual person but not around my child, just like every other parent should be.”

Cardi then went on to defend the right for mothers to be sexual while also being maternal when they want to be.

“There’s moms who are strippers. Pop pussy, twerk all night for entertainment,” she wrote. “Does that mean they do it around their kids? No! Stop making this a debate. It’s pretty much common sense.”

While some users still felt the need to drag Cardi (haters gonna hate), many of her fans came to her defense, calling out the double standards that Cardi faces as a female rapper.

“It’s always the female artist getting critique,” wrote one Twitter user. “Why people don’t talk about all the disgusting music some men be putting out?”

“This!!!” wrote another user. “Like @Eminem literally has multiple songs about murdering people but no one bats an eye about that but because it’s a female talking about her wet [cat emoji] people jump to conclusions.”

It looks like the controversy surrounding “WAP” isn’t ending any time soon. And hey, if Cardi’s motive behind the song was to spark controversy, she very much succeeded in that goal.

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A Gay Single Father Of 3 Is Using TikTok To Share His Family’s Love With The World

Culture

A Gay Single Father Of 3 Is Using TikTok To Share His Family’s Love With The World

nycgaydad / Instagram

Living as a single parent is a tough situation in the best of times. During the time of Covid, it can create a completely different set of issues. José Rólon is showcasing life as a single gay father to three kids on Instagram and TikTok.

José Rólon is a single father in New York City and he’s celebrating his family on social media.

Rólon’s husband, Tim Merrell, died tragically in December 2013 of a heart attack while on a business trip. At the time, the couple had a young son and a surrogate who was 11 weeks pregnant. Rólon recalls that they had just taken a trip to Georgia for a medical follow-up with the surrogate.

“On top of the heavy grieving I then only had a week to follow through the pregnancy or not because at 12 weeks you can’t make the decision to abort. I think at the beginning, those first several days I was pretty clear that I was going to abort because I think there was just no way that I could raise three kid son my own,” Rólon recalls. “But, on the sixth day, which not only happened to be the last day to make the decision, but it happened to be my husband’s funeral service and burial, I woke up that day and realized that my son just lost his father and what if something were to happen to me. I didn’t want to leave him alone in this world and so I decided that day that I was going to follow through the pregnancy.”

Rólon adds: “I announced that we were pregnant while giving Tim’s eulogy in the church. Nobody knew that we were pregnant yet so you can just imagine the audible gasp that came from that.”

He has been documenting his life with the children in quarantine and it has been wonderful to watch.

Like other parents, Rólon is wearing so many hats with his children in quarantine. Not only is he still a single father, he has had to become an educator as well. He also became a social media sensation thanks to his children and his own need for release.

Rólon thinks that his social media presence is breaking down barriers and creating a chance for people to relate to him. Despite his sexuality and being someone of color, Rólon sees his dad content as something most parents will relate to.

One of the first videos to go viral was with one of his daughters massaging his hair as he works.

@nycgaydad

CLIENTS: How can you work and possibly be productive with three kids at home? ME… #coronavirus #homeschooling #parenting #gaydads #lgbtfamily

♬ original sound – Jose Rolon

“I think that it’s those types of relatable videos that resonated, but I think also that there hasn’t been much of a voice in this medium from a gay parent, a gay father,” Rólon says. “Even though we have been raising kids for a long time I do think that we’re still very much in the forefront of this movement of the LGBTQ+ community raising children. It has gone from something that is rare to something that has become more common.”

How many parents out there can relate? We have seen videos and photos all over social media that show parents doing the best they can to work from home with the kids. A lot of the videos remind us of the greatest benefit of working from home: family. Parents around the U.S. have relearned the joys of spending more time with family and less time in the office.

Social media was a way for Rólon to have an outlet when dating stopped due to Covid.

The dad knew how to juggle raising his family as well as enjoying some nights out. It was his way to recharge and come back as Super Dad. However, Covid changed all of that. Suddenly, staying home was the best thing he could do to take care of his children and keep them healthy.

“The scripted response around the attention we’ve been getting around TikTok is because I’m a gay dad who does play sports orally instruments or is good at arts and crafts. But the reality is that I just wasn’t getting laid,” Rólon admits while laughing. “That was my outlet. For me, whenever the kids were driving me crazy, the way that I was able to rejuvenate was by going out on a date or possibly having an intimate evening with somebody and then I could come back and be Super Dad. That wasn’t happening so, for me, I just need to put those creative juices elsewhere. That’s what I started creating those TikTok videos and from there, once they started going viral, people started paying attention and that’s kind of where we’ve been.”

Rólon’s TikTok videos are a wonderful look into a modern family.

There is so much love and happiness on Rólon’s social media pages. He is devoted to his children and their unity is heartwarming. You can follow Rólon on TikTok and Instagram under @nycgaydad to see his family grow and change on a daily basis.

READ: A Single Mom On DACA Is One Of The Newest Cast Members On MTV’s New Season Of ‘The Real World

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