Where are the Asians? Barbie slammed as Tokyo Olympics-themed dolls seem not to include an entire community

WION Web Team
New Delhi, IndiaUpdated: Aug 10, 2021, 11:40 AM IST
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Barbie (Credit: Twitter/@Barbie) Photograph:(Twitter)

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As per Mattel's official statement, the line of Olympic-inspired Barbies highlights "inclusivity and innovation". 

Mattel, the toy company that manufactures Barbie dolls, is facing heavy criticism on social media over the latest collection of dolls dedicated to the Tokyo Olympics for not including Asian Barbie. As per Mattel's official statement, the toy-making company said that they collaborated with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Tokyo 2020 to create the Olympic-themed dolls. 

The statement further added that the latest product line of Olympic-inspired Barbies highlights "inclusivity and innovation" and reflects the five new sports added to Tokyo Games — which was baseball/softball, sport climbing, karate, skateboarding and surfing. The aim was to inspire a new generation of athletes and fans around the world. 

"Tokyo 2020 is a monumental event that brings the world together through sport and inspires fans of all ages," said Janet Hsu, Chief Franchise Officer of Mattel. 

"The Mattel Tokyo 2020 Collection honours these sports and inspires a new generation through the Olympic spirit and outstanding athletic tradition," he added. 


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The caption of the Barbie's post read, "#Barbie is committed to empowering girls to participate in sports by capturing the fun and friendship of the season, and inspiring kids to find the athlete within."

However, social media users have expressed their disappointment over the image that was shared on Twitter and Instagram. Some of the users were furious over the omission of an Asian doll, especially as the Games were held in an Asian city, Tokyo. Some users pointed out that one of the dolls "has Asian features". 

One user wrote, "Wow. Wordless. Olympics in an Asian country yet zero attempt to represent any Asians in your collection. Shame on you @Barbie". Another chimed in and said, "EPIC FAIL. What happen to being “Inclusive”. Where is the Asian Barbie ?!?!? You are part of the problem. The Olympics is happening in Tokyo, an asian country. I know you can do better than this. Very disappointed."

"So disappointing that by trying to be inclusive you exclude almost 60% of the world's population as well as that of the host country. Many of the top female athletes in the Olympics are asian. This was not an oversight but blatant racism," wrote one of the users. 


So far, there's no response from the toy making company.