Opinion

Lego bows to PC police for calling toy ‘window-licker’

Lego is licking its wounds after the PC police got in a huff over one of the company’s latest characters and forced it to apologize.

It wasn’t the one-eyed, long-tongued Lego figure named Turg that was released this month that caused the uproar. It was the the description on the company website that accompanied it.

“Turg looks like an experiment that’s gone very, very wrong! Part frog, part chicken, part back-of-the-bus window-licker, this Mixel has the longest tongue of them all,” it read according to The Mirror.

The term window licker was widely used as a distasteful jibe but disability charities have campaigned to stamp out the term and other similar offensive language.

It is listed in the urban dictionary as a euphemism for a person of mentally challenged status alongside a warning which reads: “It is offensive and wrong to name a person people who is mentally challenged a ‘window licker’ or a ‘retard’.”

In 2003, the term was voted third most offensive that could be used relating to disability in a poll run for the BBC’s Ouch! disability talk show.

Leading charity SCOPE which campaigns for disabled people to have the same opportunities as the able bodied in the UK said it was shocked by its use.

Daniel Mazliah, head of campaigns and communications at the disability charity said: “It’s pretty shocking that Lego has used this outdated and offensive word to market one of its toys.

“There is no doubt that many customers with disabled children will be appalled.

“Lego is a huge brand, loved by millions of young people who might think that this word is acceptable to use.

“We would ask Lego to remove this word from all marketing.”

Lorraine Bellamy, Spokesperson at Mencap, who has a learning disability, said: “It is unacceptable that a toy company like Lego have used a term that offends people with a disability such as this, especially as the toy is aimed at children.

“I have a learning disability and I know that it makes me feel different. Hate crime and bullying are a daily reality for many disabled people and the use of language like this only makes it worse. I want Lego to apologise [sic] and to stop using this type of offensive language.”

The Mixels figurines were first released in March 2014 and have been a popular product for the company.

The figure’s description has been changed on the Lego website and reads as follows.

“Turg looks like an experiment that’s gone very, very wrong! Part frog, part chicken, this Mixel has the longest tongue of them all. Being a slob, Turg doesn’t tend to move around too much, but you’re sure to enjoy playing around with this frog-mouthed Mixels™ model!”

Hopefully, that licks the problem.

Carmine Sabia

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