The children's toy giant immediately halts production on the SeaWorld Trainer Barbie.
SeaWorld has been facing an onslaught of issues that start with public appeal but end with a loss of sponsors - including bigger names that have pulled eateries, advertisement, and souvenirs from the shelves. Today, however, a particularly large blow comes when Mattel announced that they will no longer manufacture the SeaWorld Trainer Barbie.
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Mattel spokesman Alex Clark confirmed that the company will stop making the SeaWorld Trainer Barbie doll, along with all its SeaWorld-related merchandise. SeaWorld products could be found in additional packs that were used to supplement other Barbies.
"We're not making the doll anymore," Clark told NBC News. "Consumers may find it on retail shelves but we are not shipping and not producing the doll."
While Mattel is trying to prove that they simply didn't renew the contract, it seems as if this move has a lot of political ties behind it: "A number of factors go into a decision like that," he said. "Their licensing deal expired and we've elected not to renew it."
The fallout comes after a string of bad publicity for the attraction - including tales of how they house and train their animals. The practices lead to inbred animals, mental illness among the whale population, and early deaths among all creatures. Some of the past trainers have come forward and revealed the horrors that have seen. All of the information was encapsulated in the documentary Blackfish, which has quickly become a hit movie that many have seen. It has led to fewer and fewer people going to SeaWorld, which is causing problems for the giant company.
The items that will no longer be manufactured include "Barbie I Can Be: A SeaWorld Trainer Doll Play Set." It includes a Barbie in a trainer's wet suit, a baby Shamu orca, a dolphin, and a training wand.
Animal rights organizations are sending their support to Mattel: "It is very fitting that Mattel would dump Sea World Trainer Barbie," said PETA spokeswoman Stephanie Shaw. "She's now able to maintain her animal-friendly image."
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There has been no word as to whether or not Mattel will replace the doll with another animal-friendly design.