American Girl doll with gay aunts sparks petition from conservative group: 'Parents are outraged'

·3 min read
A conservative group called
A conservative group called "One Million Moms" is encouraging a boycott of American Girl for its new doll who has gay aunts. (Screenshot: Instagram/AmericanGirl)

One Million Moms, a conservative arm of the American Family Association (a classfied anti-LGBT hate group, per the Southern Poverty Law Center) is petitioning for American Girl to drop its new doll's lesbian storyline, claiming it's "irresponsible."

"Conservative parents are outraged!" reads a petition with more than 28,000 signatures by One Million Moms, which operates to "to stop the exploitation of our children" by the entertainment industry, according to its website. "American Girl released its first doll with an accompanying book that has an LGBTQ storyline. This is unacceptable!"

In December, American Girl (whose parent company is Mattel), released its "2021 Girl of the Year," a doll named Kira Bailey, who in her book, Kira Down Under, travels from Michigan to Australia to vist an animal sanctuary run by her great-aunts Mamie and Lynette, a same-sex couple. The detail won over American Girl fans who loved the ongoing inclusivity efforts (the company sells racially diverse dolls with varying abilities and progressive storylines) but sparked homophobic comments in online collector groups and Amazon book reviews.

"Why can’t the toy manufacturer let kids be kids instead of glamorizing a sinful lifestyle? American Girl is confusing our innocent children by attempting to normalize same-sex marriage," reads the petition. "The doll company did not even include a warning so parents would have a heads-up."

"American Girl could have chosen another storyline or characters to write about and remained neutral in the culture war," continues the petition, urging parents to censor the content "to avoid a premature conversation" that girls are "far too young to understand." The petition also asks customers to boycott the brand until it discontinues its plot.

The doll company is among several groups earmarked by One Million Moms — the group is currently campaigning against ads by General Motors, which for the Super Bowl, featured Will Ferrell yelling "dammit" (an "extremely offensive" word, per OMM), Cadbury Creme Egg for depicting two men sharing the treat Lady and the Tramp-style ("graphic," warns the group) and eHarmony for featuring two women kissing. The organization has also taken on Burger King, Disney and the Hallmark Channel for perceived offenses.

And in 2015, after American Girl magazine published a story about a Black girl adopted by two white men in a relationship, One Million Moms director Monica Cole told ABC News the story was a "red flag" for conservative parents and promoting a boycott American Girl for "pushing the homosexual agenda to children," as reported the outlet.

In response to One Million Mom's call to action toward American Girl, company spokeswoman Julie Parks directed Yahoo Life to its previous statement regarding online backlash against Kira, when the doll first debuted.

"From the beginning, our 'Girl of the Year' characters have been designed to reflect girls's lives today and the realities of the times," said Parks. "As a brand, we've always strived to share the message that there's no 'magic recipe' for a family and that families can be made up of all kinds of ingredients — and each is unique and lovely. We know for girls who can directly relate to Kira's circumstances (i.e. a father who has passed away or a couple in a same-sex marriage), we're glad to show them that the make-up of one's family doesn’t matter — it’s still a family and that's all the counts. It's a sentiment we love at American Girl."

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