Dolls Draw Conservatives' Ire

With $379 million in sales last year, the American Girl dolls are just like the girls who adore them — wholesome and sweet and rooted in American history.

They were a huge hit in the Wiesner household.

Claire Wiesner says, "They are so much fun to play with and they seem so real." Her sister Elena adds, "And they're really pretty."

Renee Wiesner, Claire's mom tells CBS News correspondent Mika Brzezinski, "Everything that they sold to us seemed very consistent with our values."

That was until the Wiesners found out that the American Girl company donates money to an organization called Girls Incorporated, which offers support to underprivileged girls. Girls Inc. also endorses Roe v. Wade — the right to abortion and it promotes acceptance of homosexuality. It's an association that families like the Wiesners are protesting with their wallets.

"This year, we're not going to buy any of the products for Christmas," Wiesner says bluntly.

And some are taking it a step further. The Pro-Life Action League is calling for a boycott of the dolls. Some Catholic schools have cancelled American Girl events.

"They take a position that I am 100 percent against which would be in telling girls abortion is a solution for them," Wiesner says.

American Girl, which just launched its first ever major ad campaign in its 20-year history, released a statement saying it is "profoundly disappointed that certain groups have chosen to misconstrue American Girl's purely altruistic efforts."

Also Mattel, the maker of the doll has decided it will not renew its partnership with Girls Inc. which runs out this year.

And next year we'll find out if that's enough to bring back the American Girl's conservative consumer base.


Clarification: American Girl responded after viewing the CBS report, saying while they considered the report fair and balanced they wanted to point out the "I Can" program and Girls Inc. partnership was always planned as a 2005 initiative and the end date of Dec 26, 2005, was mutually agreed upon by both parties.
  • Sean Alfano

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