For the last 13 years, a company called Distroller has sold Mole de Olla, a doll named after the popular plato tipico in central Mexico. But recently, the toy, which has also been available in Spain since 2018, has sparked a debate on social media about racism and anti-blackness.
Mole de Olla is an Afro-Latina doll with green eyes and curly hair. In the packaging, she is referred to as “the queen of the entire animal kingdom.” She comes with an adorable purple starfish and *checks notes* a garrapata, a tick.
El País reports that Distroller made the doll’s friend a parasitic louse fly because the company’s founder once visited Africa and returned with itchiness caused by ticks.
The more than decade-old doll came under fire recently after Trixia Valle, a communicator and self-proclaimed expert in attention to bullying, tweeted about it.
“The double moral of this country is incredible!” she said. “Distroller ruins Mexican values and teaches discrimination! #FueraDistroller,” she wrote, implying a boycott.
María Elena Soulayrac, director of communications for Distroller, responded, saying that Valle misunderstood the brand’s goal with the toy.
“That’s not what we wanted to communicate. This line is meant to share and communicate how beautiful it is to have friends, each different and unique,” she said.
Mole de Olla is the only Black doll in the brand’s line of Chamoy y Amiguis. She is also the only one with ticks for pets. Other dolls, like Chamoy and Tinga, have babies, dogs, fish, cats and similarly “normal” companions.