Black rag dolls created to be slammed against a wall “whenever things don’t go well,” was offensive and down-right racist. Created using black fabric and colorful yarn styled like dreadlocks, the “Feel Better Doll” caused an outrage, especially after reading the doll’s play instructions.
"Whenever things don't go well and you want to hit the wall and yell, here's a little ‘feel better doll’ that you just will not do without. Just grab it firmly by the legs and find a wall to slam the doll and as you whack the ‘feel good doll’ do not forget to yell ‘I FEEL GOOD, I FEEL GOOD,’” the label reads.
Disgusted after receiving numerous photos of the inappropriate doll via social media, New Jersey Assemblywoman Angela McKnight headed to One Dollar Zone in Bayonne, New Jersey to have the toys removed from the shelves.
"When I heard about this doll on social media, I knew I had to do something immediately. This doll is offensive and disturbing on so many levels,” said Assemblywoman McKnight on a Facebook post. “It is clearly made in an inappropriate representation of a Black person and instructs people to ‘slam’ and ‘whack’ her.”
Since speaking to the store's general manager, who promptly removed the dolls at the request of the Assemblywoman, roughly 1,000 dolls were pulled.
"Racism has no place in the world and I will not tolerate it, especially not in this district," Assemblywoman McKnight continued. "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. To have a product depict or teach children that it is OK to hit another child, regardless of race, in order to feel good is sick. Dolls should be a symbol of love, care, and affection.”
AP News reports, One Dollar Zone President Ricky Shah apologized for the dolls’ appearance in the stores admitting, “This somehow slipped through the cracks.”
According to an email Shah forwarded to the AP from supplier Global Souvenir Marketing, the dolls’ manufacturer, the Harvey Hutter Co., is out of business.
One Dollar Zone operates more than two dozen stores in the northeastern U.S. from Massachusetts to Pennsylvania.
(Photo: Jeff Farmer/ Getty)