Diverse LEGO Minifigure Petition

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We, the undersigned, are asking that LEGO change all yellow body parts (heads, hands, and yellow printed parts) to an equitable range of skin tones that is more reflective of the world population. Making all skin tones equally accessible is an important step in addressing the colorism and racism inherent in the use of yellow to represent a default of light-skinned peoples.

These are the reasons why this change is necessary:

1. Bias is absorbed, consciously and unconsciously. Yellow minifigs teach us that light-skinned people are the default and the dominant population. 

2. White people see yellow as equivalent to themselves. People of color do not.

3. Yellow is not neutral, and never was. Using yellow to represent skin color has baggage, and although LEGO claims that yellow was originally chosen to represent all, it didn’t represent everyone then and it doesn’t now. 

4. Yellow minifigures are coded as white. The stylized facial features of most minifigs are understood as being equivalent to white. When People of Color are represented, the minifigures are often changed in some way to reflect negative stereotypes of those particular ethnicities.  

5. The value of using a range of skin tones is evident in other themes like Duplo, Friends, and Brickheadz. It is hard to believe that LEGO thinks yellow is neutral when other themes have always used a palette of skin tones.

6. Parts that could be used to build ethnically diverse minifigs are extremely limited, and are often disrespectfully used.

7. Builders want variety in their minifigs and they find it difficult to find the variety they are looking for. We want and need more diversity in minifigs and the distribution and availability of parts makes this unnecessarily challenging. 

Supporting information:

The LEGO community is thrilled to see The LEGO Company acknowledge the need for addressing racism and inequity. We are hoping that as LEGO evaluates “organizations dedicated to supporting black children and educating all children about racial equality,” that LEGO takes the time to look internally. LEGO is a part of the problem of systemic racism, bias, and inequity, and we hope that you will also be part of the solution.

It is time to change minifigures from predominantly yellow to a spectrum of skin colors that respectfully and accurately represents the people of the world. Yellow is not a neutral color and its use continues to perpetrate and enforce biased and racist principles. It is time to intentionally disrupt the traditional but damaging narrative that yellow is neutral and that it represents all people. 

“Racism is the foundation of the society we are in. And to simply carry on with absolutely no active interruption of that system is to be complicit with it. And in that way, we can say that nice, white people who really aren't doing anything other than being nice people are racist. We are complicit with that system. There is no neutral place.”  Anti-Racism scholar, Robin DiAngelo

By extension, the same thing can be said about LEGO. Nice yellow minifigs who really aren’t doing anything other than being nice minifigs are racist. They are complicit with that system that claims that yellow is neutral. There is no neutral color.

 

For full petition text and supporting images, please go to: https://womensbrickinitiative.com/diverse-lego-minifigure-petition/



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