Doll With Islamic Message Stirs Controversy

Amanda Morgan-Scott, Owasso (Oklahoma) Reporter, October 8, 2008

When Gary Rofkahr from Owasso heard there was a baby doll on local store shelves that said, “Islam is the Light,” he didn’t believe it.

He bought the Little Mommy Real Loving Baby Cuddle and Coo doll to see for himself and he was shocked to hear the words, “Islam is the Light” among other baby gibberish including “Mama.”

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He called Fisher Price to complain. He was told they were aware of the problem and would gladly refund his money.

“I told them I didn’t want my money back, I wanted them to pull these dolls off the shelf,” he said. “They told me they can’t pull an item just because a customer requests it, they have to have corporate direction. I told them I would get corporate direction and get back to them. I told them I’m from a town of 30,000 people with 46 churches in it and I know someone who attends each one. I’m going to everyone I know to tell them about this and I’m going to call Target and Wal-Mart and see if we can pull this doll off the shelves.”

“We’ve pulled it,” said Mitzi Tatowicz, co-manager of the Owasso Wal-Mart.

She said Wal-Mart had heard about the doll and its recording several days ago and pulled the doll from the local store. Apparently, overnight the dolls had been put back on the shelves, but Tatowicz said “We’ve voluntarily pulled them and believe they shouldn’t be on our shelves.”

Local Target officials refused to comment on whether the dolls were still on shelves and directed the Owasso Reporter to a corporate media relations phone number that went directly to voicemail. {snip}

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Update—Reporter Amanda Morgan-Scott received a reply from her email to Mattel. The email has been copied and pasted in full below.

As a result of a recent news report regarding our Little Mommy Cuddle ’n Coo dolls saying an inappropriate phrase, we immediately undertook a thorough investigation to fully understand the issue. A summary of our findings include:

*The Little Mommy Cuddle ’n Coo dolls feature realistic baby sounds including sweet cooing, giggling and baby babble with no real sentence structure.

*The only scripted word that the doll actually says is “mama.” There is a sound that may resemble something close to the word “night, right, or light.” All of the other sounds are baby sounds with no real words or sentence structure.

*We have found that if told to listen for a particular phrase, you may hear something similar due to the power of suggestion.

*Actual sounds may be imprecise due to sound compression played through the very tiny inexpensive toy speakers from the doll.

As a result of these findings, we remain confident in the high quality standards of our Little Mommy Cuddle ’n Coo dolls. If any consumer has any questions or concerns regarding any Mattel toys, they may contact our Mattel consumer relations center at 800/524-TOYS (8697), and we will be happy to assist them. We take each call from our consumers very seriously and do our best to help address their concerns.

doll

Little Mommy Real Loving Baby Cuddle ’n Coo doll. She may be Muslim.

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