Conservative group, One Million Moms, focused its crosshairs on American Girl after the brand named one of their dolls, Kira, the “2021 Girl of the Year.” Kira’s character has aspirations of becoming a conservationist and climate change activist. We doubt they like those qualities, but what has really gotten their goat is the accompanying book for Kira that features lesbian characters.
In fact, One Million Moms (OMM), an organization that the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has designated an anti-LGBTQ hate group, is “outraged” over American Girl’s “social agenda to push homosexuality.”
An American Girl doll named Kira appears in the supplementary book ‘Kira Down Under’ which features Kira’s aunts who are a married couple.
In the American Girl story, intended for third to fourth-grade readers, Kira travels from Michigan to spend the summer at the wildlife recovery center in Australia run by her Aunt Mamie and Mamie’s wife, Lynette. An image of the characters getting married appears in the book.
The lesbians from the storybook, which we must remind you, exist in the realm of fiction, triggered OMM to create a petition on their website calling for American Girl to discontinue Kira’s story. The letter to American Girl, which is owned by Mattel, has gotten approximately 32,700 (not a million) signatures so far.
“Why can’t the toy manufacturer let kids be kids instead of glamorizing a sinful lifestyle?” OMM laments in the petition. “American Girl is confusing our innocent children by attempting to normalize same-sex marriage.”
“I’m not buying into your social agenda to push homosexuality,” the letter to American Girl continues. “Your ‘2021 Girl of the Year’ Kira Bailey storyline offends me and many other Christians and conservative families … I won’t be buying your products either until I know that your company is remaining neutral in the culture war.”
According to Romper, OMM is a division of the American Family Association which is a Christian organization that opposes LGBTQ rights and reproductive rights. OMM has a nearly decade-long history of grabbing headlines in its mission to “stop the exploitation of our children, especially by the entertainment media.”
They have objected to everything from Ellen DeGeneres becoming a spokesperson for JC Penny in 2012 to a Ritz Crackers commercial that featured a man wearing makeup. This is not even the first time the organization has come after American Girl. In 2015, the group complained of two fathers being featured in one of the brand’s magazines.
Jeremy Hooper, writing for GLADD, did some terrific digging into OMM to better understand the group’s actual influence and the number of its members. According to Hooper, OMM’s website receives 1/10 of the traffic that GLADD’s own site receives. Further, the group has fewer than 5,000 followers on Twitter.
We visited the website’s “About Us” page and it clearly states, “We are searching for one million moms who are willing to join the fight for our children. We want our children to have the best chance possible of living in a moral society.” This suggests the group still has a lot more searching to do.
OMM is largely out of touch with attitudes across the country today. A 2020 Gallup poll found that a strong majority of Americans, 67%, including nearly half of Republicans, believe same-sex marriage should be legally recognized. It is currently the law of the land after the Supreme Court ruled on its legality in all 50 states in 2015.
Meanwhile, American Girl is standing behind their decision. In a statement to Yahoo! Life, American Girl’s Julie Parks said “American Girl was built on a foundation of diversity and inclusion, and we remain committed to empowering the next generation of girls who will emerge as leaders who value empathy, equality, and respect. We’re proud of our reputation for having a wide range of inclusive and diverse dolls, accessories, and content and we’re excited about our upcoming plans that will allow for even more girls to see themselves reflected in our products.”
So, no matter how many signers of the petition this well-publicized hate group collects, we highly doubt American Girl and Mattel will cave to their demands. The way we see it, American Girl is just showing love in all of its forms. There’s no need for OMM to lose it over two fictional, Australian lesbians who decide to marry. Folks get married every single day. What’s “confusing” about that?
Also, gay people buy things.
Andrew is a Chicago-based writer who enjoys finding the best of the internet, obsessively making lists, and cooking for friends. After studying Film and Art History, he developed a deep love for both topics. Celebrity news, pop culture, and stories that bring people together are his passions.
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