A toy company in Argentina has been severely criticized for selling a black doll at a cheaper price as compared to its identical white counterpart.
The discovery about the baby dolls was made by a customer who went to a supermarket in the Argentine western-central province of Mendoza and found the “discriminatory” difference between the prices of the two dolls. The shocked customer took a picture of the “Tu Bebe” (Your Baby) dolls, along with their price tags, and posted it on Twitter, per the Daily Mail.
As the article detailed, the man found the two dolls hanging side-by-side at Atomo — a supermarket in Mendoza — and saw that the black doll was being sold at $399 Argentine pesos (the equivalent of about $10 in the United States). As compared to that, the white doll, which was exactly similar to the black one, save the color, was priced at $499 Argentine pesos, or the equivalent of $13 in the United States.
Per an article by the Argentinian outlet Imneuquen, as the photos went viral on social media, a strong backlash erupted across Mendoza as well as in other parts of Argentina. And as the matter was brought to the attention of Mendoza’s National Institute against Discrimination, Xenophobia and Racism (Inadi), Daniel Di Giuseppe, a representative of the institute, said the following.
“There is no formal complaint lodged against the event yet but Inadi could send its officers to verify [if it is a deliberate] act of xenophobia or discrimination by the manufacturer.”
Di Giuseppe added that “as there is no particular victim to be compensated financially, the economic fine, in such case, would be for the company if any fault is proven.”
The article also mentioned an employee of Atomo as saying that [the store] was unaware of any discrimination, and the prices had already been fixed by the manufacturers.
Following the controversy and the severe backlash, Atomo stressed that the differences in the prices of two dolls were not based on the color but the size; the white doll was priced at a higher rate supposedly because of the difference in sizes of the doll, per Los Andes.
— Cadena 3 Argentina (@Cadena3Com) January 23, 2019
On social media, however, people didn’t seem to buy the explanation of the supermarket and continued to criticize the alleged discrimination. One Twitter user, however, said that companies deliberately ignite such controversies because it is a marketing strategy for them.
Some users also pointed out that the difference in prices might be due to the principle of demand and supply, hence, the white dolls were being sold at a higher rate. Another user also opined that people shouldn’t get offended over “small things.”
I don't understand why so many people become very sensitive over small things. Colours and prices of dolls cause anger and rage.
— Maria Sultan (@KayaSultan2) January 24, 2019