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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New Study Finds Black Newborns Are Three Times More Likely To Die Under The Care Of White Doctors

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New Study Finds Black Newborns Are Three Times More Likely To Die Under The Care Of White Doctors

Getty Images / Handout

We all know that in the United States, Black lives are always under threat. Few know, however, that the threat against Black lives can start at a very young age.

A new study found that Black newborns born in the United States are three times more likely to survive their births when cared for by a Black doctor. On the other hand, Black newborns cared for by white physicians are three times more likely to die.

Horrifying, right?

Researchers found that Black infants are more likely to survive births led by Black doctors.

The death rate for Black infants is slashed nearly in half (39 and 58 percent) when a doctor who is Black leads the delivery.

The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published a study that found that the mortality rate for white babies is not dependent on the race of a doctor. “Strikingly, these effects appear to manifest more strongly in more complicated cases, and when hospitals deliver more Black newborns,” the authors of the study wrote. “The findings suggest that Black physicians outperform their White colleagues when caring for Black newborns.”

Researchers behind the study examined data from 1.8 million Florida birth records from 1992 to 2015.

The researchers paired the births with the race of the doctors involved.

The study lines up with a 2019 report from the Centers for Disease Control that revealed that Black newborns are two times more likely to die before their first birthday than white babies.

Studies have found that the U.S. mortality rate for Black women giving birth is particularly high for a developed country. As of 2018, the mortality rate for Black pregnant women was 37.1 per 100,000 live births. That’s three times the rate of maternal deaths related to non-Hispanic white and Hispanic women.

Researches involved in the study, are now urging hospitals to analyze their racial biases and health practices.

“Taken with this work, it gives warrant for hospitals and other care organizations to invest in efforts to reduce such biases and explore their connection to institutional racism,” the researchers explained. “Reducing racial disparities in newborn mortality will also require raising awareness among physicians, nurses, and hospital administrators about the prevalence of racial and ethnic disparities.”

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Black Mother, Amber Isaac, Tweeted Concerns About Hospital Care During Childbirth Before Her Death

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Black Mother, Amber Isaac, Tweeted Concerns About Hospital Care During Childbirth Before Her Death

GoFundMe

COVID-19 isn’t the only epidemic that should have you feeling alarmed. Across the globe, Black women continue to be mistreated, overlooked, and undervalued in the hallways of medical facilities and amongst medical professionals. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Black women are “three to four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women.”

Described by some medical professionals as a public health and human rights emergency the increasing number of birth-related deaths amongst Black women are preventable.

Just like the death of Amber Isaac.

Isaac was a 26-year-old black, Puerto Rican New York mother-to-be who passed away on April 21st.

While news of her death began trending last week on social media, most major news outlets have failed to report on the young mother’s death which occurred at the Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx. According to ESSENCE, Isaac’s death stemmed “from complications in delivering her son Elias who was born after midnight.” Isaac’s partner Bruce McIntyre, 28. In an interview about his partner’s death, McIntyre said that Isaac died less than four days after she’d tweeted about wanting to write an exposé on dealing with incompetent doctors.


Isaac, who died alone due to current measures to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus in hospitals, was pronounced dead due to complications with her cesarean section.

“All of this was 100% preventable. All of it,” McIntyre told The Guardian in an interview. “I feel like she would have got more attentive care if she was a white mother, to be completely honest with you.” According to The Guardian, McIntyre described Isaac’s pregnancy as being “riddled with neglect by rude and unprofessional staff at the Montefiore Medical Center,” who ignored Isaac even when she looked to them for help with her concerns during her final weeks of pregnancy.

Dr. Joia Crear-Perry, founder and president of the National Birth Equity Collaborative described Isaac to The Guardian as being a healthy woman who had done all that she was supposed to during her pregnancy. “And she’s not the only one. That’s the story of the black maternal mortality issue across the United States,” Dr. Crear-Perry said about Isaac.

According to the Guardian “In New York City, black women are nearly eight times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women. Latinas in the metropolis – especially Puerto Ricans – also face higher risks of life-threatening complications during childbirth.”

“Unfortunately, what I see when I look at Amber Rose’s case is a beautiful young woman who fell through our big, gaping hole of a healthcare system,” Crear-Perry told the outlet.

Isaac’s death has sparked an outcry over the unnecessary deaths of Black mothers online.

Friends and family of the late mother have created a GoFundMe page to help support Isaac’s son and to give her a funeral service.

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