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Mattel Should Sink ‘Whale Trainer Barbie’

Written by Michelle Kretzer | April 24, 2012

Barbie has been fur-free and an animal rights activist for years. But America’s favorite doll has taken a dangerous turn, thanks to famous toymaker Mattel and infamous animal abuser SeaWorld. The companies have released a Whale Trainer Barbie, an ill-advised doll that would be more accurately called “Barbaric.”

Fantaz | cc by 2.0

Not much could be in poorer taste than a children’s toy that simultaneously glorifies animal abuse and a high risk of personal injury. So PETA wrote to Mattel requesting that if it continues to sell this doll, the company should at least make Whale Trainer Barbie realistic:

[C]hildren were traumatized when they witnessed Tilikum pull trainer Dawn Brancheau underwater and kill her by thrashing her into the walls of the tank, separating her scalp and pulling her arm out of its socket. This was that particular orca’s third human killing. Orcas in captivity are held prisoner in tiny concrete tanks, deprived of all that is natural to them. They suffer from extreme physical and psychological distress and what has been described as rage and frustration over their unnatural confinement and loss of family and all freedom. If you continue this partnership with SeaWorld, the doll should be made more realistic: It should have detachable limbs and be black and blue.

Far better that Mattel simply admit this was a false step and withdraw the doll.

If not, what’s next? Grand Theft Auto Barbie?

Commenting is closed.
  • kim says:

    his is absolutely ridiculous! This is a direct aim at Children to try and tell them it is OK to keep Whales in small tanks and train them to do tricks! IT IS NOT OK!

  • Denise arnold says:

    I agree with the comments.

  • arlend domenico says:

    Mattel should be embarrassed to have such a doll as the information has come about on how these animals are both acquired and treated!!

  • sjduweladw says:

    You have to wonder how this game would have turned out if Robert Griffin III hadn’t tweaked his knee in the first quarter and erased any chance he had of being effective under center. Or if Redskins coach Mike Shanahan had turned the offense over to Kirk Cousins, who has shown in the past that he can win games (as a backup and as a starter). Instead, Griffin might have hurt himself even worse in the fourth quarter on a botched snap, and Cousins had little chance to overcome a 10-point deficit.

  • Mo Brock says:

    I wrote a probably snarky blog post about this And I SO appreciate the hard, always-at-work work from PETA to protect the animals.

  • Joe says:

    the unsold stock of the Whale Trainer Barbi can be repackaged and sold as Personal Trainer and Life Coach Barbi because we sure have a lot of Whales in the USA

  • terry avery says:

    the best thing Mattel could do is announce the New Funeral Barbie Complete with brass coffin and last will and testament…..bury her while she is still in her prime. The question begs to be asked ” How much money do they need…how greedy are they and how low will they go to get the money.”

  • Helen says:

    I agree what’s next, stripper Barbie, Hannibal Lector Barbie, it’s neverending, Mattel should put a stop to this at ance!!

  • Shannon Simonson says:

    Please don’t promote this.

  • Louise says:

    If Mattel goes through with this, what’s next? Zookeeper Barbie? Please Mattel, don’t send the wrong message to our youth! Animals should be free – they are not on this planet for our entertainment.

  • kerry ford says:

    I blame Barbie for the negative sexualization of young girls and nothing in the past 40 odd years has changed this. Now you intend to add to the appaling objectification of women by associating Barbie with animal cruelty and thereby making it seems desirable. Why not go the whole hog and make a gestapo barbie as it appears you have no moral compass to speak of.

  • moraitou joanna says:

    I express my opposition to this project and i ask you not to promote this,especially among the children.Please adopt a human policy for your products.

  • paula says:

    Its not ok to let our children think that animals kept in captivity is ok! We need to teach respect and compassion, I truly hope this does not come to fruition…animals are not put on this earth to be our entertainment

  • pam s smith says:

    One should expect no less than a whale trainer barbie from a doll that teaches little girls to be ashamed of their normal bodies. This toy sets an unrealistic standard of beauty and objectifies women. Any parent who allows a child to have these images thrust @ their child of either sex is probably not going to care about the systematic torture of animals used for human “entertainment”. BOYCOTT MATTEL ! P. S. Smith

  • julieo says:

    agree with sophia – a marine biologist would have been a much better idea! it’s also a much better (science!) career for young girls to aspire to. a much more responsible choice – both for marine wildlife conservation and respect education messages they could get across by using this idea instead and for inspiring interests in science careers. they could do so much more with this idea. (good one, sophia!)

  • FRAN MURPH says:


  • Helen Smith says:

    This seems particularly misguided and ill-advised.

  • PATTY says:


  • roxie says:

    Why are they doing this? Ugh this upsets me. I hope they don’t go through with this. It certainly is sending the wrong message: that sea world loves it animals. My little niece loves sea world but when she is old enough, I will let her know just how bad it is.

  • veronique Bouchard says:


  • Judy Sheldon says:

    There are too many animals being tortured, this is sending the wrong message to kids. Please abandon this idea! Thank you

  • catherine murphy says:

    This is an absolute disgrace would these people like to be drowned thats exactly how the whales feeel !!! hate people who does this they really dont deserve to live people who are cruel to animals /kids disgrace

  • sophia king says:

    Mattel could’ve gone with a much more appropriate Marine Biologist Barbie. Its always unfortunely about the money not lives.

  • L33bxt says:

    This is shocking and should not be happening.

  • Lynn says:

    This Whale Trainer Barbie is just as offensive as ‘Grand Theft Auto Barbie. But it really would not surprise me if Mattel starts selling a ‘Grand Theft Auto Barbie.’ I’ll bet this a shared project with SeaWorld. Watch the Academy Award Winning film, ‘The Cove’ to see how SeaWorld gets their dolphins: trapped and hunted until the cove water turns dark blood red. Every ticket bought at SeaWorld is funding the torture of both whales and dolphins. Yes, Whale Trainer Barbie should be realistic, with detachable limbs that are black and blue. Famous actors should go on YouTube showing what happened to Dawn Brancheau with the Whale Trainer Barbie. Then every kid who sees the doll in a store will say, “yech, don’t buy me that!”

  • stephen says:

    In order for the global shift of consciousness to occur we will have to invest resources into educating the youth. Making a whale hating animal trainer Barbie is only perpetuating irresponsible planetary stewardship.

  • oh says:

    Nobody cares, it’s a damn doll.

  • Matthew Russell says:

    Please do not use Orca’s as entertainment use. Since there have been issues with the horrible confinement of these spectacular species, we really need to reconsider using them as entertainment.

  • Steffi says:

    In a time where we are trying to have cetaceans returned to the oceans where they belong, this doll is a wrong signal to all the children. This is not education, it is torture for the animals. Please do not continue production and remove this doll off the shelves.

  • Sandra says:

    Wow! Really?! dont make barbie a dumb stupid blonde, lets keep barbie smart & cruelty free 🙂

  • Maria Lecompte says:

    Necesitamos que los niños aprendan a respetar a los animales en su hábitat y esta nueva Barbie les esta ensenando que las ballenas y delfines son felices en cautiverio y eso es falso. ellos solo son felices en libertad.