Stop Leaving Female Characters Out of Kids’ Merchandise

Actor Daisy Ridley

Target: Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner

Goal: End the exclusion of female main characters from children’s toys that include multiple stars from the same film.

The female lead of the latest Star Wars film is mysteriously absent from Hasbro’s latest version of Star Wars-themed Monopoly. The game does include figures for Finn, Luke Skywalker, Kylo Ren, and Darth Vader. While Finn is a co-star in the films, Luke Skywalker is most definitely not a main character. Despite this, Hasbro chose to include him in the game instead of Rey, the female lead.

This is just one example in a disturbing pattern of leaving female characters from multiple family action and adventure movies out of the merchandise, especially kids’ toys. Other Star Wars merchandise including multiple characters have left out Rey, and Avengers merchandise routinely leaves out Black Widow. This is all because of the mistaken and rather greedy belief that girls don’t buy toys, along with the sexist belief that boys won’t play with action figures of female characters.

The problem with this practice is that it sends the message to both boys and girls that comic books, science fiction, and other universally-loved genres are for boys only. It furthers the harmful divide between boys and girls and men and women and promotes old, damaging stereotypes.

Hasbro claims that it left Rey out of the new Monopoly game because they didn’t want to give away the plot point that she was going to join the good guys. However, this is a poor excuse. It was always obvious that this main character was going to be a part of the light side of the force, and the other main character, Finn, was included in spite of any possible “spoilers” this might have created.

Toy companies need to stop leaving women and girls out of the fun. Sign this petition to demand that Hasbro apologize and pledge to include female characters in merchandise alongside the male characters.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Goldner,

By now, you’re likely aware of the anger that has been sparked by the fact that your newest version of Star Wars Monopoly does not include Rey, the female lead in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. This is just one in an unfortunate list of toys, toy sets, and games dedicated to this movie that have left out Rey while including less important characters or characters who were not even in the film.

I know your company has said that you did not want to spoil the plot point that Rey joins the good guys. However, you were apparently perfectly fine with spoiling that for Finn. Plus, the main character of a Star Wars film joining the light side is hardly a spoiler.

Unfortunately, this issue goes beyond the threat of spoilers. The lack of representation in film and in merchandise is actively damaging to young girls, who come to believe that they’re not as important as boys and feel generally “othered.” It’s become clear that girls love science fiction and Star Wars just as much as boys, and it’s silly to think that boys wouldn’t play with action figures of female characters. Right this wrong by apologizing and pledging to include female characters in future toys and games.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore

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One Comment

  1. thats very unfair!

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