Singer Jamelia has long been outspoken about race-related issues and her questioning the lack of Black dolls in UK toy stores led to some accusing her of being racist.
The 36-year-old mother of two explored why there are so few non-white dolls available in the $4.27-billion UK toy industry.
“There may be, like, one Black doll on the shelf so, if it happens to be a Black one, [then] ‘Yes, I’ve got one!’ ” Deena Shayaam-Smith tells Jamelia on “This Morning” Wednesday, May 3.
“If they’re not seeing people that look like them achieve great things, they’re not gonna think they can do it,” Shayaam-Smith says.
Elsewhere in the segment, Jamelia visited stores and discovered non-white dolls, when available, were pushed toward the back of the shelf and out of sight, according to the Daily Mail.
Several watchers blasted Jamelia for the probe.
Jamelia casually being racist on #ThisMorning
— Daz Chadders (@dazchad) May 3, 2017
@thismorning @Jamelia Why are they teaching black children to only want to play with a black doll… That’s racist especially if it was the other way around.
— mellissa (@mellyjdee89) May 3, 2017
Children don’t see race in dolls, it’s idiots like @Jamelia who are obsessed by skin colour! #thismorning #pathetic #getagrip
— Jen (@JenPlops1872) May 3, 2017
@thismorning @Jamelia What a load of rubbish
— mandy barclay (@mandybarclay2) May 3, 2017
Still, many viewers had similar problems with finding Black dolls for their children.
@heatherfarquha1 @Zureedolls @thismorning @Jamelia This is a VALID topic that MANY of us black women can relate to. As a child i only had white dolls and im not even old.
— Rain drop (@mrsgiselle) May 7, 2017
@Jamelia What you highlighted was 100% accurate growing up in the 80s had to get black dolls imported from USA it’s only now that the UK is changing
— Tara Brown (@MsTaraBrown) May 6, 2017
Ive had to order black dolls for my girls from the US in the past. When you do find 1 in the UK they can be negative looking @Jamelia
— Heidi Curney-Miller (@Heidilouise75) May 6, 2017
I have two daughters and i've struggled to make sure they never had to own White dolls and I salute you raising the issue. #BiggerLove
— Rodney P / RiddimKilla (@RodneyP_UK) May 5, 2017
Several questioned the idea that Jamelia is racist.
The backlash that @Jamelia is facing for highlighting the lack of diversity in dolls/toys for children, just shows how racist the UK is.
— machine gun Kele (@kelechnekoff) May 4, 2017
A couple of people the pointed to the independent creation of Black doll lines.
Hi @Jamelia why don't you put up your own money and create a line of dolls to sell online seen as you see it as a big issue? Peace and love.
— SHOWY🦁🇪🇹 (@showytheras) May 8, 2017
I haven't watched Jamelia's piece, so please forgive me, but there are black dolls, usually made by African/Caribbean start-ups.
— #BLM (@Trinajc_) May 6, 2017
Jamelia responded to the on going debate Friday, vowing to continue to push for diversity and inclusion.
We've got such a long way to go, & I'm so very tired, but I'll never be tired enough to stop. The revolution will continue to be televised 😘
— Jamelia.com 🌹 (@Jamelia) May 5, 2017