Over the past week, we’ve seen a wave of backlash against Mattel and Nickelodeon following their announcement of a tween “Dora the Explorer” character. Petitions from concerned parents accuse both companies of creating a sexed-up version of the beloved character that tarnishes the family-friendly “Dora the Explorer” image.
Mattel and Nickelodeon are fighting back against these allegations, however, and told the AP that the tween version of “Dora the Explorer” is not a replacement of the childlike Dora, but a brand new doll that will appeal to other girls. “The Dora that we all know and love is not going away,” says Leigh Anne Brodsky, president of Nickelodeon Viacom Consumer Products.
And Gina Sirard, Mattel’s vice president of marketing, addressed the petitions and outpouring of vitriol following the tween “Dora the Explorer” announcement: “I think there was just a misconception in terms of where we were going with this. Pretty much the moms who are petitioning aging Dora up certainly don’t understand. [...] I think they’re going to be pleasantly happy once this is available in October, and once they understand this certainly isn’t what they are conjuring up.”