LEGO is no longer marketing police or White House sets and has donated $4 million

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Many companies have made statements about the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and pledged support to Black Lives Matter and the halt of police brutality. Some of the emails I’m getting are a little confusing, with the company condemning racism and violence, which is good, but ending by offering a 15% coupon for their Summer Trends to get through these difficult times. I guess so I can get some new sandals to protest in. Other companies, like Ben & Jerrys, made a clear, powerful statement that were widely applauded by all.

Last Tuesday, the music industry proposed #BlackOutTuesday, the suspension of all promotion of one’s own work/product in favor of amplifying voices working towards racial equality. Many other industries and individuals joined the effort, like The Lego Group. In support of #BlackOutTuesday, they sent an email to retailers and affiliates announcing that, “In light of recent events, LEGO has requested the below products to be removed from sites and marketing ASAP.” The sets listed were all their police and fire-based sets and their The White House set. Unfortunately, the email created some confusion and several fan sites and affiliates posted tweets such as this:

Because of the confusion, LEGO issued their own series of clarifications:

I feel bad for LEGO. They asked everyone to pull advertising and promotion for a number of products, which was well-intentioned. The fact that they included The White House was possibly the loudest comment they made. Sometimes the important part is not the mistake, but what’s done about it. LEGO’s follow up left no room for confusion. On Wednesday, LEGO issued their official statement along with announcing a $4M donation to educate children on racial inequality:

I don’t know if LEGO intended to make this statement and donation all along and just waited until after #BlackOutTuesday out of respect, but honestly, it doesn’t matter. It’s solid and the size of their donation drives their commitment home. LEGO has amusement parks and factories in the US, but The Lego Group is a Danish company, headquartered in Billund, Denmark. This is a very meaningful gesture from a foreign company to make on behalf of American citizens. I don’t know if their donation will be spread worldwide, but I don’t want to nitpick – $4M will make a difference wherever it’s used. LEGO course-corrected their gender neutrality based on a letter from a seven-year girl, I trust they will do their due diligence in targeting the money where it will be most effective. Good for them.

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Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images

Photo credit: LEGO, Getty Images and Twitter

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12 Responses to “LEGO is no longer marketing police or White House sets and has donated $4 million”

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  1. Sarah says:

    I’ve just been on the Ben & Jerry’s link and I’m impressed. Not just with their current statement/request but they have quite an archive of articles/resources that they have clearly been creating for some time. I’m not surprised as this is totally a part of their brand but it’s still great to see.

  2. Lightpurple says:

    May Donald Trump step barefoot on a LEGO during his 3 AM bathroom waddle

  3. Aang says:

    I love LEGO, it’s therapy for me. Penzeys Spice and Lush cosmetics are both companies that do great social justice campaigns.

    • Jessa says:

      Lush have been reported to be a very questionable employer – at least in the UK (I’m not sure if it’s the same in the US, is it owned by the same people?), and have been widely criticised that their campaigns are a front for a pretty horrible back end. Happy to find links if people are interested.

    • Esmom says:

      I thinks Legos are great for all ages — I just bought one of the architecture cityscape sets for a friend’s 55th birthday — but when my kids were younger and more interested in them I was always floored by their prices. The amount of money I spent on those sets is probably the equivalent to a semester in college! But it is fun to eventually pass them along to other kids, which is how we ended up with a huge box of random bricks and pieces.

      I like their thinking behind what they did and I think their donation is meaningful.

    • Snappyfish says:

      v v well done LEGO.

  4. Mia4s says:

    Sorry now I’m confused to. The headline to this story says they’ve stopped marketing those sets, but they actually just paused it? My understanding was that was just on Tuesday as well, but maybe a bit longer. So I don’t think it’s accurate to say they stopped?

    Then I guess I always found LEGO a bit tricky. 😉

  5. ClaireB says:

    If a foreign, for-profit toy corporation can do the right thing, why can’t the average American? Why can’t American corporations? Why can’t the people surrounding Trump in the White House? Why is it so hard to open our hearts and care about other people just a little bit?