Dear Barbie, it’s over, from Ken.
Last Tuesday, the Greenpeace environmentalist organization staged a protest outside of Mattel Inc.’s head office in El Segundo, California near Los Angeles. Activists hung a giant poster with a picture of a sad Ken doll with the message: “Barbie, it’s over. I don’t date girls that are into deforestation.”
Although the California protest was expected to be much more powerful and theatrical, it did escalate enough for firefighters to arrive and police officers to make 10 arrests. One of the people arrested was a woman by the name of Elise Nabors, who was dressed as Barbie, wearing a bright pink and blue Spandex and a blonde wig. She was driving a pink skip-loader a block away from the scene.
Since then, Greenpeace activists around the world have been protesting the beloved Barbie doll and her alleged deforestation. Greenpeace has also launched pages on Facebook and Twitter and the Greenpeace website now includes ways for people from any country to directly email Mattel’s CEOs.
According to Greenpeace’s research, Mattel Inc. has been working along with Asia Pulp and Paper (APP; a company known for destroying rainforests) to cut down trees in Indonesian rainforests for cheap ways to gather materials needed for the paper packaging for their mass-produced Barbie dolls. By cutting down the trees Mattel is ruining the habitats of hundreds of different species of animals and changing natural climates. Some of the animals being killed include a few of the world’s last orangutans, tigers, and elephants. These animals can soon become extinct if the actions of Mattel Inc., APP, and other companies’ proceedings do not come to an end soon, the organization says.
Mattel responded by reportedly saying it would stop using wood products from a Singapore company that has been accused of clear-cutting rain forests in Indonesia. According to the Associated Press, the toymaker said it has told packaging suppliers to stop using wood products from Asia Pulp & Paper while it investigates deforestation allegations.