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Mattel's ‘Pregnant Ken doll’ is not real: Babylon Bee strikes again

Bruno Cooke May 11, 2022
pregnant ken doll

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Satire website The Babylon Bee published a piece yesterday (Tuesday, 10 May 2022) about a new “pregnant Ken doll”, which some people on Twitter appear to have taken seriously. Is it real?

No, Mattel’s ‘pregnant Ken doll’ is not real

“Reporting” from El Segundo, California – the real-life headquarters of American toy and entertainment company Mattel – satire website The Babylon Bee yesterday published an article about a “new pregnant Ken doll”.

“This morning,” begins the article, “Mattel announced the launch of a new Barbie-themed toy: a pregnant Ken doll.”

It continues: “The move has been hailed as an exciting step forward for trans inclusion.”

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Tallinn, Estonia- October 15th, 2011. Barbie doll with Ken isolated on white background.

The piece quotes “Mattel executive Andrew Schiewe”, but the company’s actual chairman and chief executive is Ynon Kreiz. He took over in 2018. Andrew Schiewe appears to be a completely made-up name.

“Everyone needs to see themselves in their toys,” said the Bee’s invented Mattel exec. “For too long, pregnant boys have been excluded. Today, this finally changes. We are pleased to announce the summer rollout of Pregnant Ken!”

The fictitious ‘pregnant Ken doll’ comes with paternity pants and postpartum lotion

Per the Bee’s satirical report, reporters from The Washington Post and The Atlantic needed a minute to settle down after Schiewe’s announcement. 

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“Paternity pants, ginger gum for morning sickness, and even postpartum lotion are all sold separately”, the Bee goes on. “We emphasise that Ken needs holistic pregnancy care, even for the ‘4th trimester’ when he needs extra support as he adjusts to his new role as a birthing person.” 

For what it’s worth, in 2008, Thomas Beatie became famous for being the first pregnant man in history. He gave birth to a girl, naturally. Beatie is a trans man – born a woman. He was 34 when he gave birth.

TODAY caught up with him last year, by which time he was living a “relatively quiet life with his wife and children”. Read their profile here.

Some people appear to have taken the joke seriously

The Babylon Bee bills itself as “Your Trusted Source For Christian News Satire”. It publishes satirical content on a range of topics, from religion to politics, current affairs and public figures.

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In 2016, New Yorker writer Kelefa Sanneh called The Babylon Bee “essentially the Onion for evangelicals”.

Responses to the article vary. One wrote on Twitter that they are “ashamed to still be a member of the Dem Party”. “Tell me this isn’t so”, wrote another. Well, it isn’t.

Mattel has yet to acknowledge the article via its Twitter or Instagram pages. The Focus has reached out to the company for comment.

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Bruno is a novelist, amateur screenwriter and journalist with interests in digital media, storytelling, film and politics. He’s lived in France, China, Sri Lanka and the Philippines, but returned to the UK for a degree (and because of the pandemic) in 2020. His articles have appeared in Groundviews, Forge Press and The Friday Poem, and most are readable on Medium or onurbicycle.com.