Lego criticism a mistake, equality minister admits

Facebook friends convince Sareen to change mind about Lego Friends

January 19th, 2012 1:06 pm| by admin

The equality minister, Manu Sareen (Radikale), has rescinded his criticism of Lego’s new line of toys aimed at girls.

Sareen’s about-face comes after 200 of his followers on Facebook replied to his comment in Jyllands-Posten newspaper on Wednesday that the pastel-coloured, human-shaped figures of the Friends series reinforced traditional gender roles.

“I have to admit that I formulated myself in a bombastic and blunt manner,” he wrote on Facebook yesterday afternoon. “I’m sorry about that.”

Sareen’s criticism came in response to a Huffington Post article about gender-based marketing of toys that focused on the new Lego line.

The intention of the criticism, he said, had been to spark a discussion about gender-based stereotypes, not to criticise the maker of the iconic building block.

Lego had countered the criticism by pointing out that its new line did not play on cultural stereotypes, but was based on four years of research into the way boys and girls play.

“We asked a lot of girls what they wanted and it turned out that they wanted something that let everyone be friends and that included animals,” Lego spokesperson Charlotte Simonsen told Jyllands-Posten.

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