Black-colored rag dolls meant to be abused and thrown against a wall when “things don’t go well” were yanked from New Jersey store shelves this week after the toys were deemed racist and offensive.
The "Feel Better Doll" included instructions to "whack" the doll "whenever things don't go well and you want to hit the wall and yell." The black fabric dolls came with multicolored hair in the style of dreadlocks and featured large white eyes and a white smile.
One Dollar Zone, which has locations throughout the northeast, pulled roughly 1,000 dolls from three of its New Jersey stores, its president said Friday.
This undated photo provided by New Jersey state Assemblywoman Angela McKnight shows three "Feel Better Dolls" sharing the shelf with a stuffed animal bearing an "I Love New York" message at a One Dollar Zone store in Bayonne, N.J. The black rag "Feel Better" dolls that came with instructions to "find a wall" and slam the toy against it have been pulled from three stores after customers and the lawmaker said they were offensive. (Angela McKnight via AP)
Angela McKnight, a Democratic New Jersey Assemblywoman representing Bayonne and parts of Jersey City, called the dolls "offensive" and "inappropriate" after seeing them in a social media post.
“This doll is offensive and disturbing on so many levels,” McKnight said in a statement. “It is clearly made in an inappropriate representation of a black person and instructs people to ‘slam’ and ‘whack’ her. Racism has no place in the world and I will not tolerate it, especially not in this district.”
Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis said in a Facebook post that the dolls were "insensitive" and "can certainly be considered racist."
One Dollar Zone President Ricky Shah apologized for the dolls' appearance in the stores and said they were pulled Monday after someone posted images online.
The dolls were included in a shipment of about 35,000 pieces of closeout merchandise, Shah said, mostly with an "I Love NY" theme, including mugs and picture frames.
"This somehow slipped through the cracks," he said.
The dolls appeared to have been manufactured by the New York-based company Harvey Hutter Co. Fox News’ attempt to reach the company through phone and email yielded no responses.
Shah forwarded an email from supplier Global Souvenir Marketing to The Associated Press that stated the company is no longer in business. The supplier that shipped the order offered to credit One Dollar Zone for the cost of the dolls, he said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.