Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

American Girl calls manager over "Karen" doll parody

Illustration for article titled American Girl calls manager over Karen doll parody
Screenshot: American Girl

American Girl dolls are meant to represent every kind of “American girl” from across the country, past and present. In order to help the company achieve this goal, a guy who goes by Adam The Creator has shared a fake ad for a custom-made version of the doll, created to mark an unavoidably prominent demographic in 2020 America: The “Karen.”

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Adam’s advertisement mocks up a scene starring his “Karen: 2020 Girl Of The Year.” The doll, complete with tracksuit and angled bob, stands in a Walmart aisle scowling and holding a pistol. A tagline reads: “She’s an independent thinker who refuses to wear a mask in public places!”

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Although Adam’s work is a solid historic document, American Girl doesn’t seem thrilled with this new addition to their catalogue. In response to messages sent by avid fans that voiced disapproval of the clearly fake product, American Girl’s Twitter responded to make clear that it’s “disgusted” with the image and is “taking the appropriate steps to ensure [the post] is removed.”

The account manager also sincerely responded to someone with the handle “American Fapist” to promise that American Girl is “working with the appropriate teams ... to ensure this copyright violation is handled properly.”

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In the past, American Girl has managed to avoid getting publicly worked up about parodies like a Breaking Bad fan film that used its dolls to show off the underbelly of the nation the company celebrates. For whatever reason, though, the Karen doll is a bridge too far. We can only imagine that American Girl is scared of offending the kind of American Women who are mocked in Adam’s image, knowing that their purchasing power—and willingness to call the cops whenever they’re even slightly upset—can’t be denied.

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Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.

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