It doesn’t make sense for Hasbro to think that people would confuse the Transformer Bumblebee with the DC Superhero Girls toy (and long-established DC comic book character) Bumblebee. But here we are with a lawsuit.
According to the Geeks of Color via Comic Book Resources, Hasbro is suing DC over the usage of the name “Bumblebee,” claiming that their Transformers character could be confused on toy shelves with DC’s Bumblebee, a black teenage girl doll.
The lawsuit is the definition of “trying it.” Not only would people never confuse Hasbro’s Bumblebee with DC’s Bumblebee, but it DC’s Bumblebee came first! The character first debuted in 1977, while Hasbro’s Bumblebee debuted in 1983, several years later.
Furthermore, the lawsuit is insulting to girls of color, black girls in particular. The idea of needlessly going after one of the dolls on the shelf that actually does cater to girls of color is insidious, even more so if Hasbro actually wins the lawsuit. The representation on the toy shelves is spotty at best; now a huge company is telling girls—whether they realize it or not—that a doll that speaks to empowerment might not matter and could be at risk for going away. In a small, but powerful way, that can tell a kid that they don’t matter and that their dreams for becoming great in life doesn’t matter. Sure, it’s one doll and one decision by a company, but small things add up, and over time, the collective feeling from life can have a person feeling like they actually don’t matter. If it sounds like the butterfly effect, it’s because it is.
Hopefully Hasbro drops this redonk lawsuit. If not, hopefully the judge will clown the company from here to kingdom come.