LEGO Pulls Police Playset Marketing Amid Protests Against George Floyd’s Death
LEGO has pulled its police playset, along with several other sets, amid the protests against the death of George Floyd and racial injustice within law enforcement.
The LEGO Group sent an email to its marketing agency, Rakuten Linkshare, requesting the removal of more than 30 LEGO building sets that feature police officers, firefighters, emergency vehicles and buildings.
Among those to go are the LEGO City Police Station, Police Dog Unit, Patrol Car, Fire Station, Fire Plane, Mobile Command Centre, Police Highway Arrest and several others. The brand has even chosen to axe the Doughnut Shop Opening set because it contains Police Officer Duke DeTain and ‘Crook’ minifigures.
Shoppers also won’t be able to get their hands on a number of roleplay items, including a Police Handcuffs and Badge set, as well as the adult builder White House.
Although LEGO hasn’t publicly commented on the request for all of these items to be removed from marketing, the brand did reveal it ‘will donate $4 million to organisations dedicated to supporting black children and educating all children about racial equality’.
In a social media post, LEGO said:
We stand with the black community against racism and inequality. There is much to do.
On Tuesday, June 2, The LEGO Group took part in Blackout Tuesday by not posting any LEGO-related content, as part of a movement designed to drown out any background noise as people post about the Black Lives Matter protests.
A spokesperson for The LEGO Group told Toybook:
We requested that our affiliate partners refrain from posting promotional LEGO content as part of our decision to respect #BlackOutTuesday and pause posting content on our social media channels in response to the tragic events in the US. We regret any misunderstanding and will ensure that we are clearer about our intentions in the future.
People on social media had mixed reactions to LEGO opting to pull all of its police-related products from marketing and its websites, with one user tweeting: ‘Just in case you wanted a gauge on how bad things are getting, Lego just sent out a press release demanding that all sets featuring the police or property damage that are currently on store shelves be pulled indefinitely.’
‘LEGO is the ideal world. That world will be crushed once a kid uses the minifigures and re-enacts what they are seeing on TV,’ another tweeted. ‘It’s a sad world.’
Protests are currently ongoing throughout the US and other parts of the world in response to Floyd’s death. If you want to do your bit to help, you can start by signing the Black Lives Matter petition above.
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Stop Hate UK by visiting their website www.stophateuk.org/talk