Mattel rolled out a Barbie to honor a late Cherokee Nation chief with a language error on the box that says 'chicken' instead of 'Cherokee'
- Mattel released a new Barbie honoring a late Cherokee chief in its "Inspiring Women" series.
- But the doll's box has a spelling error that says "chicken" instead of "Cherokee."
A new Barbie doll from Mattel honoring the late chief of an indigenous tribe is seeing mixed reactions in part due to a spelling error on the box.
But among the Cherokee symbols used on the box, one that was supposed to say "Cherokee" actually says "chicken," a Cherokee woman named Regina Thompson told the AP.
"Wilma's name is the only thing Cherokee on that box," Thompson told the outlet. "Nothing about that doll is Wilma, nothing."
Mankiller, who died in 2010, was the Cherokee Nation's first woman principal chief and was known as an education and healthcare champion. She led the tribe for a decade until the mid-90s.
But some who have seen the toy wish it had more Cherokee details, such as indigenous symbols and traditional moccasins instead of the black shoes worn by the doll.
"Regrettably, the Mattel company did not work directly with the tribal government's design and communications team to secure the official Seal or verify it," the Cherokee Nation said in a statement to the AP. "The printing mistake itself does not diminish what it means for the Cherokee people to see this tribute to Wilma and who she was and what she stood for."
Mattel did not consult Mankiller's surviving daughter, Felicia Olaya, who told the AP she found out about the doll shortly before it was publicly announced. However, the company did consult Mankiller's estate, which is led by her husband, who is Olaya's estranged stepfather.
"I have no issues with the doll. I have no issues with honoring my mom in different ways," said Olaya, noting that she was frustrated she wasn't told about the project in advance. "I'm not sure how she would feel about this."
Spokespersons from the Cherokee Nation did not immediately return a request for comment from Business Insider on Sunday, nor did a spokesperson from Mattel.
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