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Fact Check-Claims of a pregnant Ken doll originated on satirical website

Toy maker Mattel, Inc. did not announce that it is intending to make a pregnant Ken doll in its next edition of Barbie and Ken. The image circulating online featuring what appears to be a pregnant male doll originated from a satirical website, Babylon Bee, although the image and claim duped many online into thinking it was real.

One individual shared the image of a pregnant Ken alongside a Barbie doll with a caption on Twitter: “Apparently the new Barbie & Ken doll set shows Ken pregnant? Any parent buying this is a freak & isn’t suitable to be a parent. Sadly, these toy makers have lost all decency & values & common sense.” (here).

Another commented on Facebook: “Children across the United States will soon have Barbie and Ken doll expecting a baby, except the Barbie is not going to be the one who's carrying the baby, it's Ken” ( here ).

Other examples of the claim shared on social media can be found ( here ), ( here ) and ( here ).

A spokesperson for Mattel told Reuters that “a pregnant male doll is not a Mattel product.”

A reverse image search reveals that the image circulating online originated on a satirical website, Babylon Bee. On May 10, 2022, Babylon Bee released an article with a headline that reads: “Mattel Unveils New Pregnant Ken Doll” ( here ).

Babylon Bee describes itself as “the world’s best satire site, totally inerrant in all its truth claims” ( babylonbee.com/about ).

Reuters has previously addressed satirical posts that duped users online ( here ), ( here ).

VERDICT

Satire. Toy-making company Mattel, Inc. has not released a pregnant Ken doll. The image circulating online and associated claim originated from a satirical website.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our work to fact-check social media posts here.

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