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The company that makes the American Girl brand of dolls took to Twitter to express its disgust about a “Karen” parody ad
In the satirical image containing the American Girl logo, a Karen who is touted as the independent thinking, mask-refusing 2020 Girl of The Year is pushing a shopping cart while holding a pistol in her right hand.
The post by “Adam the Creator” was widely shared on Facebook.
“This doll scares the sh*t out of me,” the image is captioned.
Apparently concerned about the impact on its product line of 18-inch dolls depicting girls from various backgrounds (and perhaps the likelihood of consumer confusion terminology in trademark law), American Girl wrote on Twitter in response to an inquiry that “we were equally disgusted with this post. Please be assured we are taking the appropriate steps to ensure this is removed.”
“The actual 2020 American Girl of the Year is a doll named Joss Kendrick, whose backstory includes being born with partial hearing loss,” Mediaite added.
As of this writing, the parody image (see below) is still active on Facebook.
Donna, we were equally disgusted with this post. Please be assured we are taking the appropriate steps to ensure this is removed.
— American Girl (@American_Girl) July 1, 2020
While open to interpretation, the Karen phenomenon trends both ways, however.
Given conflicting, inconsistent statements from so-called medical experts during the coronavirus pandemic, as well as what they perceive as an infringement on personal freedom, segments of the population are resistant to the requirement to wear facial coverings, requirements which vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.
That being said, it seemed to have actually gotten its start in pop culture or in the zeitgeist as the result of busybodies who try to shame others for their alleged shortcomings in public.
Indeed, rather than resisting edicts from public health officials, Karens are often those who are pro-mask and are hardly shy about letting everyone else know about the expectations for full COVID-related compliance.
Separately, MSNBC’s “Morning Mika” Brzezinski recently went into the Karen mode by trying to convince Twitter to ban President Trump.
In another example that went viral, two alleged Karens got into an argument at an NYC bagel shop over mask-wearing, culminating in the Karen without a mask coughing on her adversary.
Some Twitter users took American Girl to task for lacking a sense of humor about, if not overreacting to, the Facebook parody/meme.
It’s a parody, and it’s protected speech. Have the dignity to let it go unanswered, like CNN does with so many SNL sketches using their logo. Lashing back will just make them David to your Goliath.
— Jonathan Sherry (@therealphydeux) July 4, 2020
Title 17 of the Copyright code allows for parodies like this pic. And you probably know this.
You could have used this opportunity to comment on the rash of Karens and why this meme exists in the first place. You and your company failed.
— C R Sionainn (@DieHistorikus) July 4, 2020
Parody is fair use, get over it.
— Sistro Mondain 🇺🇸 (@SistroMondain) July 5, 2020
You’re all a bunch of jokes. The ad is hilarious. Keep up the good work memers of the world!
— Balem Hendricks (@OracleOfFreedom) July 5, 2020
its a meme…. its making fun of people who dont wear masks.
— Max Sterling (@CaptMaxSterling) July 4, 2020
Um parodies are protected speech, Karen.
— FreeRange (@Jason70142041) July 4, 2020
— Recover Reputation (@recovreputation) July 4, 2020
The Streisand Effect refers to an anomaly that purportedly occurs when an attempt to remove or censor information ironically gives it more currency. It came into being when Barbra Streisand tried to prevent photos of her lavish Malibu mansion from being shared online.
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