Hasbro responds after awesome 6-year-old calls them out for gender bias
When Jennifer O'Connell's 6-year-old daughter played Hasbro's famous board game Guess Who, she was puzzled to see that there were only five girl characters, as opposed to 19 boys. So with the help of her mom, the adorable and astute young girl wrote an e-mail to the company headquarters in the U.K., where she lives, that quickly went viral after O'Connell posted it to her blog. Now, Hasbro has finally responded!
In the letter, the little girl expressed her feelings of anger and disappointment about the situation."It is not only boys who are important, girls are important too," O'Connell's daughter wrote. "I am cross…and if you don't fix it soon, my mum could throw Guess Who out."
After days of eagerly waiting for a response, O'Connell's little girl finally got one…but it wasn't exactly what she'd been expecting. To her--and her mother's--dismay, Hasbro wrote a letter filled with confusing jargon and talk about "numerical equations." In fact, the letter was so baffling, it even left O'Connell at a loss. She wrote them back, admonishing their ridiculous response, and posted both letters to her blog with the headline "Hasbro knows all about selling to kids--and nothing much about talking to them." Good for her! I love that she is standing up for a cause that's important to her daughter.
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Of course, the social media world went into an angry frenzy over Hasbro's reply, demanding a more appropriate answer for the 6-year-old. And after apparently feeling the heat, the company complied, sending O'Connell and her daughter a second, much more kid-friendly response. "We agree that girls are equally as important as boys and want both boys and girls to have fun playing our games," they wrote, also offering to send some additional character sheets that feature more females. Way to save face, Hasbro!
I absolutely love that O'Connell allowed her daughter to write to the company to express her concerns. I wish every parent was as encouraging about getting their kids to speak up! But I'm also glad that--after a bad try the first time around--Hasbro gave a semi-helpful and friendly response to the letter. Hopefully, that will push the little girl to keep getting involved in things she's passionate about!
Image via Bethany Ann Khan/flickr