OPINION | This article contains political commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
The murder of George Floyd by four police officers in Minneapolis caused large protests all over the country. The majority of these protests remained peaceful, but after the peaceful protesters went home, the violent rioters looted and burned cities to the ground.
It seems that celebrities and corporations alike are falling all over themselves to align with the black lives matter movement. Some speculate that these companies are only showing support now in hopes their stores are not looted and reduced to ashes.
A report coming out of Toy Book, a website that covers toys and their manufacturers, claims that they “received a copy of an email sent to affiliate marketers by Rakuten Linkshare on behalf of the LEGO GROUP.”
The email is reported to be requesting that 30 LEGO sets that pertain to Police, Fire Stations, Police Dog Units, Patrol Cars, Fire Planes, and more from their site and marketing ASAP. I would think this was overboard just one its own, but one set that is reportedly on the list struck me as politically motivated, item number 21054 The White House.
The company pulling police toys from their marketing is probably a wise choice given the social climate our country is in right now, but I don’t see the need to pull the White House. The White House holds the President; we all know that. This is a direct statement of political bias by the toy company.
From The Daily Wire:
“The items will all remain for sale, the company just doesn’t want marketers actively promoting the sets, potentially so that activists don’t blame LEGO for supporting law enforcement (or, it seems, the president). The law enforcement, first responder, and White House playsets are all still in stock on LEGO’s primary website and elsewhere.”
The Toy Book Reports that several LEGO fan sites also received the letter, and most of them wanted an explanation.
Hey @LEGO_Group can you elaborate? Is it #BlackOutTuesday ? We all firmly believe #BlackLivesMattter . For decades #LEGO police & fire rescue have been the very best example how to protect and rescue fellow minifigs and kids playing. What kind of message are you making here?? pic.twitter.com/ZoLg2HlJTj
— Brick Loft (@BrickLoftOrg) June 2, 2020
LEGO is the ideal world. That world will be crushed once a kid uses the minifigures and re-enacts what they are seeing on TV. It’s a sad world. https://t.co/AocXYk7aAq
— Matt's Brick Gallery (@mbrickgallery) June 2, 2020
LEGO sent an email asking that police/fire/whitehouse (and donut shop) sets no longer be marketed effective immediately. pic.twitter.com/ydFE7dGTGA
— STiTCH KiNGDOM (@stitchkingdom) June 2, 2020
Just in case you wanted a gage on how bad things are getting, Lego just sent out a press release demanding that all sets featuring the police or property damage that are currently on store shelves be pulled indefinitely pic.twitter.com/yyP4fqxBxJ
— snack amigo (@rodakscreens) June 2, 2020
It seems to go against bringing people together when we are actively pulling toys that represent a large portion of how our society functions. We all agree that police brutality is wrong. We all agree that what happened to George Floyd is police brutality. We can also all agree that not all cops are corrupt.
LEGO Company sent out a Tweet in support of the Black Community yesterday.
— LEGO (@LEGO_Group) June 3, 2020
Toy manufacturers have a unique voice to play in how our society changes. We shouldn’t teach our children to demonize cops, but rather see them for the protectors they are supposed to be. By pulling these toys from the shelves, LEGO tells its costumers that the chance of having an ideal society where we have healed from this can’t happen while there are cops out there.
Please follow me on Twitter: @marmee_r