In a Barbie world, Lil Gretch and Lil Daryl Hannah campaign for different things
Lil Gretch, meet Lil Daryl Hannah.
In a Barbie world, the doll is everywhere and can do just about anything. Michigan’s Gov. Gretchen Whitmer got in on the "Barbie" movie's popularity, with social media of a one-of-a-kind look-alike doll dubbed Lil Gretch. This week, another well-known person did, too, actress Daryl Hannah.
But Hannah's doll was part of a campaign that got attention for another reason: It was part of a hoax.
A social media fake claimed that Mattel toys would become plastic free by 2030, and come out with decomposing "EcoWarrior" Barbie. The hoax included a video, starring 62-year-old Hannah, who played a mermaid in "Splash." Hannah, in the Mattel-branded video, walks along a beach, picks up a barnacle-coved Barbie doll.
The actress says: "Barbie and I are about the same age, except she will never die."
Hannah noted that the plastic doll, and 1 billion of her plastic friends, have been dumped in landfills and waterways.
It seemed like something that could be true — and a few outlets, fell for it.
However, Mattel told the Free Press on Wednesday the news releases "published yesterday are fake; they were not issued or authorized by Mattel." Mattel has said it aims to reduce plastic packaging by 25% by 2030, but not quit using it.
Barbie Liberation Organization claimed credit for carrying out the hoax.
It said: "Mattel announced, to much fanfare, that they were producing a new line of biodegradable Barbie dolls, made from mushrooms, called 'MyCelia,' "featuring five new Barbies representing Julia Butterfly Hill, Greta Thunberg, Nemonte Nenquimo, Phoebe Plummer and Daryl Hannah.
"Actually, that's not true," the group added. "It was us."
In addition to what the dolls are made of, Mattel's Barbie brand has been criticized for generations for the unrealistic body image standards it sets for women at a young age, which, some argue is another kind of plastic, cosmetic plastic surgery.
In 1993, the Barbie Liberation group bought Barbie and GI Joe dolls and switched their voice boxes. At Christmas, kids got Barbie dolls that said, "Dead men tell no lies," and the GI Joe’s said, "I love to shop with you." It engineered the fake Mattel news releases and advertisements this time to call attention to the dangers of plastic.
The campaign also, unintentionally, highlighted the dangers of believing everything on social media.
Contact Frank Witsil: 313-222-5022 or email@example.com.