American Girl is a toy company committed to presenting positive role models for young girls with their line of dolls. So you can imagine their disgust with this parody ad that appeared on Facebook last week. American Girl is a subsidiary of giant toymaker Mattel. Even so, the First Amendment is pretty clear on protections for satire and parody as a form of free speech.
The company that makes American Girl Dolls says it is “disgusted” by an ad parody featuring a gun-toting Walmart shopper who refuses to wear a coronavirus mask, and who goes by the pop culture-infamous moniker of “Karen.”
The ad parody features a scowling white woman in a purple sweatsuit carrying a nickel-plated semi-automatic handgun who is not wearing a face covering, while other shoppers keep their distance. It was posted to Facebook by Adam Padilla, who calls himself “Adam the Creator,” and was shared widely.
“This doll scares the shit out of me,” the caption read, and it featured the “American Girl” logo at the bottom.
The parody is a play on the “Karen” phenomenon, which has become a hot topic following a slew of news stories featuring examples of white women engaging in behaviors characteristic of the term. One notorious example was the Central Park incident in which Amy Cooper was filmed threatening to falsely report that a Black man was attacking her, and then did just that.
Donna, we were equally disgusted with this post. Please be assured we are taking the appropriate steps to ensure this is removed.
— American Girl (@American_Girl) July 1, 2020
A more positive role model than 'Karen'.
— American Girl (@American_Girl) June 24, 2020
And Adam Padilla's Facebook post.