The folks at LEGO have apologized for a sticker which some parents have found offensive.
The sticker in question features a LEGO construction saying “Hey, Babe!” while waving to the object of his misguided affection. Josh Stearns, the father of two boys, said that LEGO is essentially promoting sexual harassment.
Stearns first posted about the LEGO stickers on his Tumblr page. It didn’t take too long for bloggers and websites to latch onto the story. While some thought the father was simply blowing things out of proportion, others agreed that the sticker was inappropriate for children.
“I was so disappointed to see the brand affiliated with a product that normalized street harassment and cat calling. Needless to say, I didn’t buy the stickers,” he explained on the site.
Those who agreed with Stearns position on the sticker soon took their case to Amazon, where a host of negative reviews started popping up. While some comments urged parents to simply remove the offending sticker from the collection, others wanted the item pulled from the website altogether.
“This product promotes sexual harassment and archaic, harmful gender roles and stereotypes. It is inappropriate for children, and, frankly, adults as well,” one user wrote.
Not surprisingly, the situation soon caught the eye of the folks at LEGO. Senior Director Charlotte Simonsen apologized to Stearns for the offensive sticker. She added that the company responsible for making the product lost its license to manufacture the item in 2010.
“To communicate the LEGO experience to children we typically use humor and we are sorry that you were unhappy with the way a minifigure was portrayed here,” Simonsen explained in her email.
While the father of two said he didn’t want to cause a stink over the sticker, he explained that these sort of offensive items need to be pointed out when someone stumbles across them.
“If we don’t call out these things when we see them, then even the little pieces of culture, like a pack of stickers, can serve to normalize sexist behavior and harassment,” Stearns explained.
This isn’t the first time LEGO has come under fire for some alleged insensitivity. The company pulled Jabba the Hut’s Palace from its Star Wars line after receiving complaints that it looked like a mosque.
Do you think LEGO should apologize for the sticker some have found offensive? Do you feel the product is inappropriate for children?
[Image via Josh Stearns’ Tumblr Page]