SeaWorld Barbie is officially out of a job following an announcement by Mattel that the toy company would not be renewing its contract with the park moving forward.

 

The doll is sold along with SeaWorld-related merchandise including a toy whale and may still be found on shelves, according to Mattel spokesperson Alex Clark. Mattel’s decision to end the agreement with SeaWorld will cease all future production of SeaWorld Barbie.

 

Greenpeace USA tweets about Barbie dropping SeaWorld

Greenpeace USA tweets in celebration of Barbie dropping SeaWorld merchandise. (twitter.com/greenpeaceusa)

This decision comes amid serious backlash towards SeaWorld following the release of the documentary “Blackfish.” The film draws into question the treatment of orca whales and other animals in captivity at the park. While SeaWorld has made efforts to speak out in defense of its trainers and its treatment of animals, animal welfare activists have remained firm in their opposition to the park and continue to demand a change.

 

It is not confirmed that the decision was in any way rooted in the ongoing controversy, but it is hard to separate the two. The choice is a clear reflection of the dominant attitude toward SeaWorld at the moment: an attitude that includes an overwhelming pressure from animal rights activists for companies to sever ties with the park.

 

In this respect, discontinuing SeaWorld Barbie can be celebrated as a victory for the Mattel brand as well as animal welfare.  As the decision plays into an ongoing conversation regarding animal rights and SeaWorld, it places Barbie back in the spotlight, making the doll a popular talking point.

 

Furthermore, it revitalizes the brand by taking a pretty clear stance regarding animal welfare in Mattel’s name, one that is hailed by the public and that creates a fresh brand image concerned with positive values.

 

Do you think Mattel’s decision not to renew its license with SeaWorld will prove to be a catalyst for even more companies following suit? Share your thoughts below or tweet me @tamarahoumi