McKenna Pope claims that her 4-year-old brother loves to cook and he wants an Easy-Bake Oven for Christmas (he also wants a dinosaur). However, the company that makes Easy-Bake Ovens appears to be marketing their toy ovens only to girls. McKenna claims that the marketing is making the young boy feel bad about his desire to become a chef.
Male role models for young chefs are everywhere. Chef Gordon Ramsay has a handful of shows on the Fox Network, Bravo’s Top Chef is of full talented men (and women), and the Food Network – an entire channel devoted to cooking – has a long history of promoting men who cook.
So, the 13-year-old New Jersey girl is petitioning Hasbro Toys to change the marketing of its iconic the Easy-Bake Oven.
Young Ms. Pope’s online petition also asks that you sign electronically and also send a request for the change to Hasbro executives like CEO Brian Goldner, Senior VPs Billy Lagor and Eric Nyman. In case you are interested in joining the battle, here’s McKenna’s suggested text for your letter:
I believe your product, the Easy-Bake Ultimate Oven, a favorite of mine as a young child, promotes gender roles in society. Your packaging for the product and it’s promotional materials advertise baking and cooking as a solely girls hobby. Also, it’s “girls” coloration of purple and pink make it seem as though cooking is “girly”, which it is not by any means. Please, Hasbro, I urge you to include males on your packaging, and feature your product in less gender specific colors, such as red, green, or blue. I thank you so much in advance for your understanding of my concerns, and please, help our youth understand that cooking and baking is for everyone, not a specific group of people.
The petition makes strong points for the inclusion of men in marketing the ovens by citing the many examples of famous male chefs like Emeril and Gordon Ramsay.
The video supporting McKenna Pope’s petition is below:
The toy company actually tried to lure young male chefs to the Easy-Bake franchise some time back. In 2002, Hasbro was trying to see a product that was a re-packaged Easy-Bake oven called the Queasy-Bake Cookerator. Apparently the “cookerators” did not sell well enough to live on, but the ads live on thanks to YouTube.
TheBlaze has reached out to Hasbro’s corporate offices for a comment on the petition, as well as additional history on the Queasy-Bake Cookerator. One spokesperson was not aware of the campaign, but promised to kick our request for comment up the corporate ladder. We will update this story with any pertinent information.
Perhaps Hasbro will make a change to mark the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Easy-Bake Oven in 2013.
Where do you stand on making toy advertising “gender neutral?” Take our Blaze Poll.