A claim has been circulating online that a Trolls World Tour Poppy doll was designed with a special “private parts” button in order to groom young children for pedophilia. However, the fact-checking website Lead Stories has debunked the claim, writing “There is no evidence, beyond the fears of some mothers, that the button is part of a secret strategy by the toymaker to prep kids for sex trafficking.”
Despite that, the manufacturer Hasbro has decided to discontinue the doll because of the controversy, Lead Stories reported.
The claim appears in video posts shared on social media, specifically people reposting one video recorded by a mother whose daughter received the doll at a birthday party. That three-minute video now has a fact-check label on it that says it’s “partly false” and is available below:
Hasbro Said It Will Discontinue the Doll Because of the Controversy & Customers Can Contact the Company for a Replacement
The Poppy doll in question, “Giggle ’n Sing Poppy,” was created to promote the new Trolls movie that was recently released, Trolls World Tour, but there are other versions of the Poppy doll already in circulation. Julie Duffy, senior vice president of global communications for Hasbro, told the fact-checking site that other versions of the Poppy doll don’t have that button.
She added: “This feature was designed to react when the doll was seated, but we recognize the placement of the sensor may be perceived as inappropriate. This was not intentional and we are happy to provide consumers with a replacement Poppy doll of similar value through our Consumer Care team.”
The Hasbro product description for the “DreamWorks Trolls World Tour Giggle ’n Sing Poppy” doll says that she can sing, say different phrases and giggle. It says, “When you sit her down, she makes other funny sounds, too!”
The company told Lead Stories that it would discontinue the production of the doll because of the attention the button’s received. Customers who have already purchased the doll and wish to return it can contact the company for a replacement model without the button on the bottom.
The Button on the Doll’s Bottom Is Designed to Make Sounds When Seated
The woman in the viral video of the doll says, “Ok, I wanted to do a quick video, because I find this disturbing and I find it’s something that needs to be shared. As you all know, stuff that’s been going on in the world about the sex trafficking in kids and things that are thrown in our kids’ faces to kind of groom them and make them kind of a little bit more oblivious to things that are really happening.”
She shows that the box for the doll advertises a button on its stomach that makes Poppy sing and say certain things. Then, she shows the camera that there is another button on the doll’s bottom. She says, “But down here is a button, right here on her privates, and if you push those, she makes these sounds. Like a gasping sound. And I know some of you might not, like, think this is a big deal, but especially since I’ve had kids — this is wrong. … It makes a gasping sound when you touch her privates. And to me, it’s just like sexual sounds and it’s so disturbing.”
A petition was created on August 5 on Change.org aimed at various retailers and asking them to remove the Poppy Trolls World Tour doll from their shelves. The petition reads in part, “Our society is conditioning our children to think pedophilia is ok. … This is not okay for a child’s toy! This toy needs to be removed from our stores. What will this toy make our innocent, impressionable children think? That it’s fun when someone touches your private area? That pedophilia and child molestation are ok?” The petition has gained over 11,000 signatures in just a few hours.