- DescriptionÂ of new ‘Mixel’ toy causes outrage by using ‘offensive’ term
- Slur phrase appears on firm’s website alongside the long-tongued toy
- After angry backlash online, company removes the word from the site
- But it is still visible on other sites after campaigners call for its removalÂ
Children’s toy firm Lego has caused outrage after describing one of its new characters as a ‘window-licker’.
The description – an highly offensive slur for people with disabilities – was applied to the online description of a toy called ‘Turg’.
The full description was: ‘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.’
Lego have caused anger by describing a new toy as a ‘back-of-the-bus window-licker’ on its website
The term – called ‘outdated and offensive’ by campaigners – is a derogatory word for people with disabilitiesÂ
The description of the toy was changed on the website after it caused fury among disability campaigners.
However, it is still visible when searching for the toy through Google or other online retailers.
Lorraine Bellamy, a spokesperson at Mencap, who herself 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 and to stop using this type of offensive language.’Â
Daniel Mazliah, head of campaigns and communications at disability charity Scope, added: ‘It’s pretty shocking that Lego has used this outdated and offensive word to market one of its toys.Â
‘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.Â
‘We would ask Lego to remove this word from all marketing.’Â
And Jessica Reeves, from the National Deaf Childrenâ€™s Society said: ‘Asking Alfie to remove his hearing aid was a mistake, as the school has rightly acknowledged. Every deaf child should be confident and proud of who they are, so a supportive school environment is essential.’
The description was removed after outrage online, with one group saying they are ‘appalled’ at its use
However, the term still appears on Google searches for the toy, which is part of a new range being released
In 2003, ‘window-licker’ was voted the third most offensive word that could be used relating to disability in a poll by the BBC’s Ouch! disability talk show.
The toy is one of the company’s new ‘Mixels’ range, characters which children can mix and match to create different creatures.
Turg is one of the so-called Lixel set, described as ‘a long-tongued tribe with a taste for all things fun, wacky, and mixelicoius [sic].’
Fiona Wright, Vice President of Lego UK and Ireland, said: ‘Lego Mixels aim is to inspire creativity using quirky fictional characters to help children express their imaginations.
‘We have very high expectations of our products. This also includes the text we use to describe them towards consumers.
‘We are sorry that wording which could be considered offensive has been used, as this has not been our intention at all.
‘As an immediate result of the input we have received, the product description for the Mixels character Turg has been changed on our website lego.com. We have looked at our processes to make sure this does not happen again.’
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