A California mom is furious after the pirate play set her son received as a birthday gift came with what she says appears to be a toy slave character.
Mom Ida Lockett told Sacramento's local CBS station that the instructions for the set showed how to shackle one of the dark-skinned toy people, who happens to be wearing tattered clothing and a metal collar and is shoeless.
“It’s definitely racist,” Lockett told CBS News. “You cannot have this specific accessory and call it anything else. The fact that you can Google it, look it up, say what it is -- it’s a slave collar,” she said. "[The toy] told my son to put a slave cuff around the black character’s neck, and then to play with the toy.”
There is also a cargo cell below the deck of the ship, which Lockett believes is reminiscent of a slave hold.
The play set, made by popular toy company Playmobil, is still being sold at Toys "R" Us. A Playmobil spokeswoman told The Huffington Post that the pirate playset is designed to depict life on a 17th-century pirate ship.
"If you look at the box, you can see that the pirate figure is clearly a crew member on the pirate ship and not a captive," the company stated. "The figure was meant to represent a pirate who was a former slave in a historical context. It was not our intention to offend anyone in anyway."
Stephen Webb, President of the Sacramento NAACP, still feels that something needs to be done. “This is deplorable; this cannot be accepted, and it needs to be pulled off the shelf,” Webb told CBS News.
Lockett plans to return the ship to Toys "R" Us.
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