(The Hill) — A handful of news outlets published stories about a fake announcement by Mattel to create an “EcoWarrior” Barbie.
News outlets such as People, The Washington Times and others published stories apparently falling for the hoax, The New York Times noted.
The hoax had been orchestrated by a group called BarbieLiberation.org, which on its website claimed Mattel had announced “that they were producing a new line of biodegradable Barbie dolls, made from mushrooms, called ‘MyCelia’ … featuring five new Barbies representing iconic activist role models: Julia Butterfly Hill, Greta Thunberg, Nemonte Nenquimo, Phoebe Plummer & Daryl Hannah.”
In a statement to The Hill on Wednesday, the company called the announcement “a hoax” and said it “has nothing to do with Mattel or any of its products.” Mattel also provided a link to “accurate information regarding Mattel’s sustainable product, packaging and goals.”
An editor’s note, which now replaces the Washington Times story on the matter, said that the article about new Barbie dolls “was based on an elaborate media hoax involving spoofed email addresses, a faked press release, doctored images, fictitious quotations and a YouTube video that appears to show actress Daryl Hannah announcing the new product line.”
“We have removed the story from our website pending further investigation into the origins of the hoax,” the outlet wrote.
Warner Bros.’s “Barbie” has seen blockbuster success at the box office since its release in theaters two weeks ago.