The American Girl Doll brand has caused controversy by doing what anti-LGBTQ people find unthinkable: introducing a doll with LGBTQ family members.
The Mattel-owned imprint created a backstory for its 2021 Girl of the Year Doll, Kira Bailey, who is 10-years-old and has visited her two married aunts in Australia. The same-sex couple also owns a wildlife sanctuary, but it was their fictional relationship that had American Girl fans wildly upset.
A TikTok by American Girl Doll collector Rebecca Nachman reviewed the controversy, which grew quickly in combination with the fact that American Girl is publishing an anti-racism children’s book, featuring dolls of color.
The book, Kira Down Under, that accompanies Kira for doll collectors, explains that once she visits her aunts, who were married “after the law was changed to allow it,” referring to the 2017 decision to legalize marriage equality in Australia.
The aunts, Auntie Mamie and Auntie Linette, are also featured in the first episode of Kira Bailey’s Australian Adventure stop motion episode on YouTube (below).
Reviews on the Amazon product page for the book featuring Kira’s backstory are just examples of the anger that anti-LGBTQ doll collectors feel.
“Homosexuality is an inappropriate topic for a children’s book,” wrote one review, “and I am very disappointed that it was woven so blatantly into the storyline for Kira.”
“The storyline is inappropriate and far too mature for young readers,” another review claimed.
“People were saying, ‘Children are innocent, they shouldn’t have to read about sex,’ as if American Girl is publishing a lesbian porno,” Nachman said.
“We know for girls who can directly relate to Kira’s circumstances (i.e. a father who has passed away or a couple in a same-sex marriage), we’re glad to show them that the make-up of one’s family doesn’t matter – it’s still a family and that’s all the counts. It’s a sentiment we love at American Girl,” American Girl spokeswoman Julie Parks told Yahoo! Life.