In August 2020, some social media users started accusing toymaker Hasbro of normalizing pedophilia and grooming children for sexual abuse over the company’s placement of a button on the bottom of the “Trolls World Tour Giggle and Sing Poppy” doll. When the button is pressed, the doll giggles and seems to make sounds such as “Whee!” and “Oh!”:
While this video shows a genuine troll doll from Hasbro with a button on the troll’s bottom, no evidence suggests the button was intentionally placed in this position as some sort of effort to sexually groom children. In fact, the product description for this item notes that the Poppy Troll Doll was designed to make funny sounds when placed in a seating position.
Hasbro writes (emphasis ours):
DreamWorks Trolls Poppy is more adorable than ever with the Giggle and Sing Poppy Toddler doll. This adorable singing doll stands over 12 inches tall from the tips of her toes to the top of her hair, giggles 3 different ways when she’s tickled, sings a fun version of the song “Trolls Just Want to Have Fun” from DreamWorks Animation’s feature film Trolls World Tour, and says 5 different phrases, too, like, “How about a hug?” and “Um, cupcake!” When you sit her down, she makes other funny sounds, too!
Despite the lack of evidence Hasbro was attempting to normalize pedophilia, the company announced shortly after the complaints emerged that it would be pulling the doll from store shelves.
Hasbro spokeswoman Julie Duffy told The Providence Journal that the company recognized that some may view the “placement of the sensor […] as inappropriate,” but that this was “not intentional.”
“This feature was designed to react when the doll was seated, but we recognize the placement of the sensor may be perceived as inappropriate … This was not intentional and we are happy to provide consumers with a replacement Poppy doll of similar value through our consumer care team. We are in the process of removing the item for purchase.”
Hasbro’s announcement comes on the heels of a baseless conspiracy that accused the furniture store Wayfair of trafficking children.