Holmes Report Blog

The Holmes Report blog focuses on news and issues of interest to public relations professionals. Our main site can be found at www.holmesreport.com.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Mattel Latest "Culture Wars" Victim: After the difficulties experienced by Microsoft, Ford and others in 2005, we can expect to see many more major corporations caught up in the "culture wars" in 2006.

Right-wing religious groups such as the American Family Association will continues to be outspoken in their opposition to any company they perceive to be helping to advance "the gay agenda," which bascially means any company that provides domestic partner benefits or seems to welcome gay customers.

I've been quite clear in the past that I see this as a civil rights issue. I don't see any significant difference between the KKK of the 60s and the AFA of the 00s. So I believe companies that want to be on the right side of history will continue to support civil rights for all.

Mattel is the latest company to be targeted, with the "Concerned Women for America" accusing the company of promoting "gender confusion."

There is apparently a poll (I couldn't find it during a cursory visit) at the company's Barbie website that asks for the child's gender and gives three choices: male, female, and I don't know. That's a little odd, but I can think of several more innocent and more likely explanations than a deliberate attempt on Mattel's part to sow "gender confusion."

CWA has previously attacked Mattel for marketing a broomstick toy in its Harry Potter series (promoting witchcraft) and for donating money to Girls, Inc., a non-profit that CWA describes as "pro-lesbian, pro-abortion." Mattel reportedly bailed on its association with Girls, Inc., which CWA apparently took as an open invitation to see how far it could push the company on other issues.


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