According to reports from CNN, the toy being taken off shelves is the Trolls World Tour Giggle ‘n Sing Poppy Troll doll, a doll that “giggles 3 different ways when she’s tickled [and] sings a fun version of the song, “Trolls Just Want to Have Fun.'”
While a doll giggling when being tickled should be perfectly fine (Tickle Me Elmo was quite the hit, after all) it seems like the execution here was a bit off. Because of the button placement and the way the doll reacts to it being pushed, there’s an online petition claiming the doll is “conditioning our children to think pedophilia is OK.”
The petition was launched on Change.org shortly after a mother named Jamie Nelson Cornaby shared a Facebook video of her analyzing the doll in question, which her daughter received as a gift. In the footage, Cornaby draws attention to a button on the doll’s underside that makes inappropriate giggling and “gasping” noises when pressed.
“As you all know, stuff that’s been going on in the world about the sex trafficking in kids and things that are thrown in our kids’ faces to kind of groom them and make them kind of a little bit more oblivious to things that are really happening,” Cornaby explained in the video. “… There are some things where I thought, maybe, you know, that you like are naive about stuff that’s going on but maybe its never happened to you. And you’re like, really, are they really grooming our kids? Sorry, but I think they are. Because you touch privates and she makes inappropriate sounds. Why? Why does a little girl need that? She doesn’t and actually as a parent that makes me quite mad.”
Not long after the petition started to gain traction, Hasbro confirmed that it was pulling the toy from its shelves. Following the decision to pull the toy, Julie Duffy, Hasbro’s senior vice president for global communications, said the following to CNN:
“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.”