Mattel

California
Consumer Durables and Apparel, Media and Entertainment

Corprate Bias Ratings

Risk Level:

Rating - Danger
High Risk

Mattel, a toy company, does not provide viewpoint protections for its employees but has not publicly terminated business relationships based on views or beliefs. By complying with Human Rights Campaign’s controversial demands, Mattel increases the risk of dividing employees, alienating customers and harming shareholders. The company covers transgender-related medical costs for its employees and their children and provides specific sexual orientation and gender identity-based benefits. It also uses sex and gender ideology criteria in employee recruitment, vendor selection, marketing, and philanthropic support. Mattel forces employees to undergo multiple ideological trainings and uses its reputation, corporate funds, and political influence to support controversial sex and gender ideologies, organizations, and legislation. It created many ideological products including a Democrat Barbie, Republican Ken, the first gender-neutral doll, and a transgender Barbie. America First Legal filed a letter with the EEOC requesting a civil rights investigation into Mattel over discriminatory practices in hiring. The company supports the Equality Act and opposes anti-LGBTQ legislation. For these reasons, Mattel receives a High Risk rating.

Criteria
Risk Level
Rationale
Corporate Weaponization
Criteria

Has denied service to customers, suppliers, or vendors due to their political views or religious beliefs OR corporately boycotts, divests, or sanctions regions, people groups, or industries.

Risk Level
Rationale

Mattel received a score of 100 on the 2023 Corporate Equality Index (CEI) from the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), a political stakeholder group. The company recruits employees based on sexual identity issues. The company discriminates against vendors that do not promote divisive sex and gender policies, indicating it prioritizes sexual issues over merit (1)(2). However, Mattel has not publicly fired customers, suppliers, or vendors based on political views or religious beliefs.

Criteria

Charitable giving (including employee matching programs) policies or practices discriminate against charitable organizations based on views or religious beliefs.

Risk Level
Rationale

Mattel’s HRC CEI rating indicates the company will not donate to non-religious charities unless they embrace controversial sexual identity policies (1)(2). Mattel does not discriminate against religious organizations in its charitable giving (3)(4).

Criteria

Employment policies fail to protect against discrimination based on political affiliation/views and/or religion.

Risk Level
Rationale

Mattel’s HRC 2023 CEI rating indicates the company forces employees to attend multiple, controversial trainings on gender identity, sexual orientation, transgender issues, and divisive racial ideology. The company provides gender transition guidelines for its employees and a specific benefits guide with a comprehensive explanation of transgender services funded by the company (1)(2). Mattel does not provide viewpoint protections for its employees (3). America First Legal filed a letter with the EEOC requesting a civil rights investigation into Mattel over discriminatory practices in hiring (4)(5).

Corporate Governance and Public Policy
Criteria

Uses corporate funds to advance ideological causes, organizations, or policies hostile to freedom of expression.

Risk Level
Rationale

Mattel’s HRC 2023 CEI rating indicates the company agrees to allow a controversial stakeholder group focused on sexual identity issues to dictate marketing or advertising strategy (1)(2). By doing so, the company risks dividing employees, alienating customers and harming shareholders. In 2016, Mattel created a Democrat Barbie and Republican Ken, both packaged with a 4-year calendar and a pen for marking off the days until the next election (3). In 2019, Mattel created the world’s first gender-neutral doll. Mattel executive Kim Culmone stated, “Toys are a reflection of culture, and as the world continues to celebrate the positive impact of inclusivity, we felt it was time to create a doll line free of labels” (4). Mattel created its first-ever trans-Barbie in tribute to Laverne Cox, an LGBTQ activist (5)(6). Mattel was part of the Freedom for All Americans coalition, which advocated for federal legislation that would overrule state laws designed to protect girls’ sports and similar laws (7) The company opposed various state and local legislation intended to protect parental rights, girls’ sports, bathroom facilities, and gendered spaces (8)(9). During the Black Lives Matter movement, Mattel published a statement and started the Play Fair initiative in support of the movement (10)(11). CEO Ynon Kreiz is a member of the Business Roundtable but has not supported ideological initiatives (12).

Criteria

Uses corporate funds to advance ideological causes, organizations, or policies hostile to freedom of expression.

Risk Level
Rationale

Mattel’s HRC 2023 CEI rating indicates the company covers transgender related costs for its employees and their children, including paid short-term leave, puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, chest surgeries, genital surgeries, medical visits and lab monitoring, travel and lodging. Additionally, the company has pledged philanthropic support of at least one organization or event that promotes sex and gender ideology (1)(2). By allowing a political stakeholder group to dictate operations, the company increases health care costs and risks dividing employees, alienating customers and harming shareholders. Mattel donated $50,000 to It Gets Better an LGBTQ organization during Pride Month (3).

Criteria

Uses corporate political contributions for ideological, non-business purposes.

Risk Level
Rationale

Mattel’s HRC 2023 CEI rating indicates the company publicly advocated for controversial sex and gender ideology through local, state or federal legislation or initiatives (1)(2). By allowing a political stakeholder group to dictate operations, the company risks dividing employees, alienating customers and harming shareholders. Mattel has not used its PAC donations for ideological purposes (3)(4).

All links were last accessed and all information was updated on:
February 18, 2024

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