Outrage over ‘racist and disturbing’ black rag dolls designed to be slammed against walls

‘When I saw the doll in person, I cringed and was truly disheartened’

Adam Forrest
Monday 29 July 2019 14:25
Comments
The ‘Feel Better Dolls’ came with instructions to ‘find a wall’ and slam the toy against it
The ‘Feel Better Dolls’ came with instructions to ‘find a wall’ and slam the toy against it

Black rag dolls designed to be slammed against the wall as a stress reliever have been pulled from the shelves after customers and politicians complained that they were racist.

The “Feel Better Doll” sold in One Dollar Zone outlets in the US featured instructions to “whack” the doll “whenever things don’t go well”.

The dolls – made of black fabric with yarn hair of red, green, black and yellow in the style of dreadlocks – also came with the message: “As you whack … don’t forget to yell: I FEEL GOOD. I FEEL GOOD.”

New Jersey state legislator Angela McKnight said she found the toy “offensive and disturbing on so many levels” after visiting a One Dollar Zone store in the city of Bayonne.

“It is clearly made in an inappropriate representation of a black person and instructs people to ‘slam’ and ‘whack’ her,” Ms McKnight wrote on Facebook.

“When I saw the doll in person, I cringed and was truly disheartened by the thought of a black child being beaten by another child or an adult for pure pleasure,” she added.

Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis said in a Facebook post that the dolls were “insensitive” and “can certainly be considered racist”.

The president of One Dollar Zone said roughly 1,000 dolls were pulled from its stores following widespread complaints.

The black rag dolls came with instructions to whack the toy against the wall

Ricky Shah apologised for the dolls’ appearance in the company’s stores and said they were all removed last week after images and criticism appeared online.

The New Jersey-based company had not adequately checked a large lot of items it had received before distributing them to stores, he admitted.

“This somehow slipped through the cracks,” he said.

The supplier Global Souvenir Marketing that shipped the order has offered to credit One Dollar Zone for the cost of the dolls, Mr Shah said.

The dolls’ manufacturer, the Harvey Hutter Co, is no longer in business, according to the supplier.

One Dollar Zone operates more than two-dozen outlets across the northeastern US, from Massachusetts to Pennsylvania.

Additional reporting by AP

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in