After a barrage of complaints from parents and a petition calling for it to be removed from stores, Hasbro has pulled its Trolls World Tour Poppy doll. People shared their concerns about the placement of a button on the doll they believed could be seen as normalizing child abuse.
Earlier this week, the Dreamworks Trolls World Tour "Giggle and Sing" Poppy doll went viral after footage on Twitter highlighted an unusual feature on the toy. On the doll, there are two sensors kids can press to make sounds. One on the doll's stomach can make it say phrases and ask questions like, "How about a hug?" The other sensor is located under Poppy's skirt and between the doll's legs. When pressed, it activates the doll to gasp and make sounds including "Whee!" and "Oh," as a video on Twitter demonstrates.
Many have found the placement of the second button problematic, so much so that a Change.org petition has garnered nearly 280,000 signatures as of Friday morning calling for major retailers like Target, Walmart, Amazon, and Dollar General to take the toy off shelves.
"This is not okay for a child’s toy! This toy needs to be removed from our stores. What will this toy make our innocent, impressionable children think? That it’s fun when someone touches your private area?" the petition's author Jessica McManis wrote. "That pedophilia and child molestation are ok? It’s not ok! It’s not fun! It’s damaging and has long term affects on a child’s mental/physical health!"
In the end, retailers won't have to make the decision themselves as Hasbro decided to remove the "Giggle and Sing" Poppy doll. In a statement to Romper, Hasbro spokesperson Julie Duffy, SVP of Global Communications said the company recognizes the button "may be perceived as inappropriate."
"This feature was designed to react to the doll when seated, but we recognize the placement of the sensor may be perceived as inappropriate," Duffy said. "This was not intentional and we are happy to provide customers with a replacement Poppy doll of similar value through our Customer Care team. We are in the process of removing the item for purchase."
Beyond the petition, several social media users have shared their distaste for the doll on Twitter, including Utah Senate hopeful Sam Parker, who shared a video of the doll and wrote "Is @Hasbro normalizing grooming & facilitating child abuse?"
Another shared on Twitter that they felt the doll's feature "is a form of conditioning for young girls," while another commented on the petition that "this is so disturbing."
Ultimately, following the widespread outcry, the "Giggle and Sing" Poppy doll from Trolls World Tour is coming off store shelves and parents who purchased it can contact Hasbro for a replacement Poppy doll.