On Wednesday, during singer Jamelia’s “This Morning” show, Jamelia explored the lack of racially-diverse doll options available, and her segment was slammed by critics, ironically, for racism.
Looking specifically at the $4.27-billion UK toy industry, Jamelia looked into why there were so few options for dolls that looked like little girls of color as well as why those dolls that were racially diverse were not featured as prominently in stores.
“I’ve spent years searching,” one mother said in the segment. “It’s self-representation, if you see yourself then you’re part of the world.”
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“There may be, like, one Black doll on the shelf so, if it happens to be a Black one, [then] ‘Yes, I’ve got one!’” Deena Shayaam-Smith, one of the mothers interviewed, said, later adding, “If they’re not seeing people that look like them achieve great things, they’re not gonna think they can do it.”
However, Jamelia was slammed for her segment, with many accusing her of racism for teaching black children to only play with black dolls, while others questioned her reasons behind the probe, accusing her of putting forward an issue that didn’t have any legs with the advent of heroines like Moana and others from big names like Disney.
Check out some of the online reactions below.
Jamelia casually being racist on #ThisMorning
— Daz Chadders (@dazchad) May 3, 2017
@thismorning @Jamelia Moana, Pocahontas, princess Tiana, princess Jasmin there’s a few off the top of my head…. there are many varities of coloured dolls!
— Adur Taxis Co. (@adurtaxis) May 3, 2017
@thismorning @Jamelia I gotta say how pathetic this! Making a racist issue out of nothing! #thismorning
— Lewis-Joe Michaels (@LewisYiddo) May 3, 2017
@thismorning @Jamelia Why are they teaching black children to only want to play with a black doll… That’s racist especially if it was the other way around.
— mellissa (@mellyjdee89) May 3, 2017
Children don’t see race in dolls, it’s idiots like @Jamelia who are obsessed by skin colour! #thismorning #pathetic #getagrip
— Jen (@JenPlops1872) May 3, 2017
Reading the comments on @Jamelia #ThisMorning piece on black dolls calling her racist is hilarious . Representation is so important
— Simmy (@simmy_ray) May 3, 2017
@heatherfarquha1 @Zureedolls @thismorning @Jamelia This is a VALID topic that MANY of us black women can relate to. As a child i only had white dolls and im not even old.
— Rain drop (@mrsgiselle) May 7, 2017
@Jamelia I have two daughters and i’ve struggled to make sure they never had to own White dolls and I salute you raising the issue. #BiggerLove
— Rodney P (@RodneyP_UK) May 5, 2017
@Jamelia @thismorning Good woman! More diversity and less gender specificity needed. The latter has only become a problem with aggressive marketing.
— P (@JustMissP) May 3, 2017
Source:: The Grio