• Petitioning Lisa Klein

This petition will be delivered to:

Senior Vice President of Corporate Responsibility
Lisa Klein
CEO at Mattel
Bryan Stockton
Executive Vice President
David Allmark
VP of Consumer Products
Jessica Dunne
Mattel, Inc.
Director of Corporate Responsibility
Kathleen Shaver

Mattel: Offer party supplies featuring Barbies of Color

    1. Karen Greene Braithwaite
    2. Petition by

      Karen Greene Braithwaite

      New York, NY

My African American daughter asked me for a Barbie party theme featuring a black Barbie for her birthday this year.  I thought surely, with all of the dolls of color Barbie sells, that it would be no problem to find the party supplies with Barbies of color.  

Little did I know that not only would I find nothing featuring Barbies of color, but that the only line of party supplies Mattel offers features various huge, blown up images of a blonde haired blue-eyed Barbie on literally everything except for some very small images of a brown-skinned Barbie and a brunette (possibly meant to be Hispanic) Barbie on a tablecloth, and a set of a handful of hanging decorations.

Even though it seems like a small thing, featuring the white Barbie so prominently on the banners, cups, napkins, plates, party favors, and invitations, while relegating the "ethnic" Barbies to near-invisible cameos sends a clear--and troubling--message to young girls.  

As parents of children of color, we're basically faced with the choice of either foregoing a Barbie theme altogether, or compensating for Mattel's lack of sensitivity through labor-intensive DIY solutions. Check out this blog of a mother who went so far as to print out labels of Black Barbies at home and stick them to party supplies:  http://ebonylove10.blogspot.com/2011/12/how-to-have-black-barbie-party.html

Innovative? Creative? Yes!  But should it be necessary in 2013? Surely Mattel can do better!

Young girls of color need positive images of themselves reflected back to them in popular culture, the media, and their daily lives. Mattel  already  offers a wide selection of dolls of different races and ethnicities--which simply begs the question: Why not give young girls of color the option of seeing and celebrating that same diversity when it comes to celebrating themselves?  


Recent signatures


    1. 20,000 and Counting!

      Karen Greene Braithwaite
      Petition Organizer

      Thank you to everyone who has supported and continues to support this petition! It is so important that we continue to let Mattel know that not only is there a need for this, but a real consumer demand! Keep those supporters and comments coming! Beauty comes in all colors, if over 20,000 people can see that, surely a few bigwigs at Mattel will get a clue! Let's keep it going!

    2. Reached 20,000 signatures
    3. We're Almost There!

      Karen Greene Braithwaite
      Petition Organizer

      Several news outlets asked if I could update them when we reach 20,000 signatures for follow up stories. In the words of Princess Tiana, we are "almost there!" Let's get one more big push! We can do 59 people! That's nothin'! Mattel has said they are listening to feedback and considering making this happen, even though this time last year there were no concrete plans. Perhaps things have firmed up since then? Inquiring minds want to know. We are encouraged by the fact that at least one person signs this petition daily, despite it being almost a year old. So, in honor of the 1st anniversary of our push to get Barbie to do BETTER, let's make it happen!

    4. Say "When," Mattel!

      Karen Greene Braithwaite
      Petition Organizer

      Hello Everyone! Thank you to everyone who created that great cascade on Mattel's Facebook page in response to my email! It looked more like our Dear Mattel Girls of Color Have Birthdays Too Facebook page than Mattel's Facebook page! If you haven't done so already, please take time to reach out to both Mattel and and Party City (owned by the licensee for the Barbie party supplies, Amscan) on Facebook and let them know we're still waiting on a real answer! So far they've said they're "looking at how [they] can redesign the line," but we'd really like to know when they'll make a decision to include Barbies of color on the products. Let's keep them talking! And continue to spread the word!

    5. Reached 17,500 signatures
    6. Mattel needs a little encouragement...

      Karen Greene Braithwaite
      Petition Organizer

      As you may know, Mattel has been issuing a standard response with regard to our petition: "It's very important that Barbie reflects the ethnic and cultural differences of people around the world. We work closely with partners to develop Barbie products such as party supplies, and we will share your feedback with them." Well, that's nice. But it's not enough. There is NO committment on the part of Mattel to do anything but let someone know that people think there should be diverse party supplies. 14,399 supporters, countless news stories online, on radio, and on TV: I think they know! This is a classic corporate brush-off, and we need to keep the pressure on! Therefore I have formally requested a face-to-face meeting with Mattel for some "real talk." It's 2013 and we now live in a diverse society. Mattel cannot continue say that it's important that Barbie reflect the differences of people around the world, when it doesn't even reflect the differences of the people next door.

    7. Reached 12,500 signatures
    8. Let's Make Some Noise!

      Karen Greene Braithwaite
      Petition Organizer

      So Mattel says they're listening...let's tell them what they need to hear! In addition to signing this petition, you like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/karen.g.braithwaite#!/DearMattelGirlsOfColorHaveBirthdaysToo

      We are also doing a Twitter campaign on Thunderclap! Just follow this link to commit to participating. 100 supporters (I'm sure we will have far more) and Thunderclap will do the rest. Simultaneous tweets letting Mattel (and everyone else) know that Beauty Comes in all Colors. https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/1779-beauty-comes-in-all-colors

      Mattel: Can you hear us now?

    9. Reached 5,000 signatures
    10. Just say YES, Mattel!

      Karen Greene Braithwaite
      Petition Organizer

      So fresh on the heels of all the enormous media coverage we have gotten (Time, UK Daily Mail, NY Daily News, numerous blogs and online media outlets, TV and Radio), Mattel's VP of Communications and
      Vice President of Consumer Products (head of licensing) reached out to me yesterday. The conversation was enlightening--and disappointing. Mattel is refusing to address the issue. They insist they are "listening" to what consumers are saying, but they have no plans whatsoever to rectify the issue. Unacceptable. And that's what they need to hear from you! The message needs to get louder. We need more signatures, we need more peple calling on Mattel to do the right thing! You can tweet directly to Mattel @Mattel on Twitter. If they really are indeed listening, what they will hear is what is contained in the comments below. I'm going to start tweeting comments directly to Mattel and encourage you all to do the same! It's super easy to set up. Let's do this!

    11. Reached 4,000 signatures
    12. The Message is Out There! We are Fighting for our Right to Party!

      Karen Greene Braithwaite
      Petition Organizer

      We are making local, national, and international news! Thanks to everyone who is tweeting Mattel directly, posting links of the numerous news stories on facebook and retweeting on Twitter. A supervisor in Mattel's Customer Service call center called me today (Really, Mattel?) She said she was surprised there were no party supplies with Barbies of color, despite the fact that Mattel sells them on their website. She also said it made her "sad" that moms are reporting on this petition that they declined to buy the products because they found them racially discriminatory. It's great that the higher-ups at Mattel are "discussing it" according to the DNAinfo article, but we want action. So yes, we have a response, but it's not an ANSWER! Let's keep up the good work, spread the word, and let Mattel know the time for change is now! (It was actually 2008, according to our President, but apparently Mattel missed the memo...) Note: You can follow me on Twitter @KGBraff4

    13. Reached 3,000 signatures
    14. We're in the News!

      Karen Greene Braithwaite
      Petition Organizer

      Check out this great article by Jeff Mays on DNAinfo.com! The message really is resonating with so many. I can't tell you how many grown women have walked up to me and said "My name is...and I'm a Barbie Girl!" Awesome!

    15. Reached 2,500 signatures
    16. Let's Get Ready!

      Karen Greene Braithwaite
      Petition Organizer

      Say it ain't so, Mattel! Rather than take responsibility for the content of the party supplies and use their position as the holder of the trademark, licensing rights, and seller of the products to do the right thing, Mattel has passed the buck to the companies they licensed to make the party supplies! Nevermind that the image of the brown girl surrounded by blonde/blue-eyed Barbie party supplies came from Mattel's own website where they sell the party products, and that Mattel uses the same images that appear on the party products on their doll packaging. And...we have the proverbial runaround! Well, let the games begin! Today we are over 1,500 strong and counting! Keep it up and pass it on! This is far from over, we've only just begun...and our numbers keep growing...

    17. Reached 1,500 signatures
    18. The Promotional Video is Live!

      Karen Greene Braithwaite
      Petition Organizer

      Hello Everyone! We are so pleased and proud to announce the completion of the promotional video for our petition. The cause is definitely on the move, as we gain worldwide support from people in Canada, England, and Mexico in addition to states all across the country: New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, California, Texas, Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts...and the list keeps growing! Let's keep it moving!

      Special thanks to all of the parents who sent in footage of their "Barbie Girls!" This is not just a "black thing" or a "person of color" thing, this is the RIGHT thing! Let's continue to let Mattel know. Please take a moment to watch the video, post it to your social media pages, Twitter accounts and email. Together we can do it!

    19. Reached 200 signatures
    20. Let's all "Send a Friend!"

      Karen Greene Braithwaite
      Petition Organizer

      Hello everyone, the movement is growing! We've gotten a great response from parents who want their daughters to participate in the promotional video! We hope to have it done by this weekend and up on the site by Monday. If all goes well, it will really get the message out there and let Mattel know that we mean business! In the meantime, we are fast approaching 200 signatures, but we could be faster!

      If everyone can commit to having just ONE friend/family member/co-worker sign this petition in support, we can double our numbers. (Of course if you get more than one, even better)! So, lets all send a friend to this page and get these numbers up!

      For those of you with daughters, there is still time to participate in the making of the video. If you are interested, please leave a note in the comments section and I will reach out to you privately via the change.org email/messaging function.

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    21. Reached 100 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • tavanna tripplett ROCKFORD, IL
      • about 11 hours ago

      My daughter would love to have an African American barbie party!

    • Cabrina Colton METAIRIE, LA
      • 10 days ago

      My little girl is 8 years old and love Barbie . She wanted and Barbie party and I had the same issues. She is now battling Leukemia and has the bold Barbie I appreciate that but it's a white skin Barbie I will love for her to she herself in her toys and party supplies .

    • Shalinda Triche SLIDELL, LA
      • 10 days ago

      I came across this site in search for African American Barbie party supplies for my niece. My sister an I grew up on cabbagepatch but my neice loves Barbie. It saddens me yo know that the company is swear of the need and refuses to meet it.

    • Bandu Massaquou MINNEAPOLIS, MN
      • 16 days ago

      I have a daughter who is black and I would like to see more Barbie product and toys that resemble her.

    • Tiffany Gamble TALLAHASSEE, FL
      • about 1 month ago

      My daughter wants to have a barbie party


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