Prominent toy manufacturer Hasbro ended up pulling one of its figures from store shelves after a certain element of the toy's design evoked a backlash on social media.
The female doll in question is called "Trolls World Tour Giggle and Sing Poppy" and, as its name suggests, can giggle and sing on demand, as news.com.au puts it.
However, in order to make use of these features, one has to press a button located between doll's legs, which does not seem to sit well with quite a few people; the change.org petition is calling to have the toy removed "from store shelves" accruing over 425,000 signatures about four days after its launch.
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!— Jessica McManis (@JessiMcmanis) August 5, 2020
Sign 👉 https://t.co/vCoVocr4y9 pic.twitter.com/g9DWPCzWKE
"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?" the petition states. "It’s not ok! It’s not fun! It’s damaging and has long term affects on a child’s mental/physical health!"
Many social media users, some of them wondering aloud, asked how "anyone at the company" could consider the feature in question a good idea.
This never should have made it to the shelves! Sick and twisted!!— Rhonda Belcher (@RhondaBelcher7) August 8, 2020
How did anyone at that company think this was a good idea ?!— Matthew Ada (@VividMiddle) August 8, 2020
Pathetic. Shame on Hasbro....— Janice Jahnke (@JaniceJahnke) August 6, 2020
There were also those, however, who appeared to consider the situation hilarious as well.
Disturbing and hilarious at the same time.— Dennis Peterson (@Todaysprofit) August 8, 2020
Hasbro spokeswoman Julie Duffy explained in a statement that "this feature was designed to react when the doll was seated, but we recognize the placement of the sensor may be perceived as inappropriate", according to CNN.