Days after Mattel announced their first ever Barbie with Down syndrome, a self-described pro-life conservative political commentator released a video on Twitter mocking the doll. Social media users quickly reacted with outrage.
In the video posted to Twitter, Steven Crowder and his co-hosts can be heard snickering and laughing over an Inside Edition feature promoting the doll. “With r*tard strength!” they can be heard saying over the promo, adding, “Is this real? This is real.” They continued to laugh as model Ellie Goldstein, who has Down syndrome, appeared holding one of the Down syndrome Barbies.
“Well, here’s the thing, they really have been going full-bore,” Crowder said, directly facing the camera. “Mattel actually announced plans to expand this, in the name of diversity before the end of the year, with sickle cell Barbie. So that’s something. Look, everyone’s involved! Down syndrome Barbie. Short bus not included! Did she have to say ‘smash through barriers’ when we all know about special needs strength? She doesn’t look that Downs-y! It looks like Amy Schumer Barbie. Now with more r*tard! Professional assistant not included.”
Mattel launches Down syndrome Barbie. https://t.co/DMUOlo5mYq pic.twitter.com/KyOzIcGozH
— Steven Crowder (@scrowder) April 26, 2023
Yet the reaction on social media was overwhelmingly negative. “This Barbie is a win for a conservative culture. Why? Because it humanizes a group of *human beings* the other side thinks we should just abort,” conservative columnist Ian Hayworth tweeted. “Instead, he’s ‘joking’ about ‘r*tard strength.’ Gee, I wonder why we’re losing this battle?”
“This is pathetic and heartless. Shame on you,” another Twitter user replied, while another conservative user tweeted, “I actually love this. @Mattel did something good for society by making this doll.”
A Catholic father of seven replied with a heartbreaking photo of his daughter with Down syndrome, who passed away as an infant. “Hey Steven, this is my child,” he tweeted. “Maggie would’ve been 3 next month. She died of the heart failure caused by the Down Syndrome you’re so callously mocking. She deserved every ounce of dignity you and the pro-aborts deny people like her every day. Repent.”
Hey Steven, this is my child. Maggie would’ve been 3 next month. She died of the heart failure caused by the Down Syndrome you’re so callously mocking. She deserved every ounce of dignity you and the pro-aborts deny people like her every day.
— Thy Geekdom Come?? (@ThyGeekdomCome) April 27, 2023
Frank Fleming, a scripted creator for the Daily Wire, also responded with a Twitter thread to the controversy. Fleming has a son with Down syndrome.
“I don’t think I’ll watch the Crowder sketch on the Down Syndrome Barbie and just take everyone’s word it was bad,” he said. “At the heart of our society is the intensely religious notion of equality — that despite our physical differences, each person is of equal and immeasurable value. It is unprovable, but it is True. This is not an easy notion to grasp with. It does not come naturally. It something we struggle with now and will in the future. But it’s central to concepts such as human rights.”
He continued, “When we make exceptions to who matters — to whom we value — it all starts to fall apart. One of the saddest things I’ve ever heard was of countries that have come close to eliminating Down Syndrome (and we know what that means). We have to be better than that.”
He concluded by pointing out that more representation of people with Down syndrome is a positive, not something to be mocked.
“I’m happy Mattel made a Down Syndrome Barbie,” he said. “I’m happy there [sic] one of the Lost Boys in the new Peter Pan has Down Syndrome. We need to embrace the beauty in this world, or we ourselves will be less human.”
Did you know that as little as $10 a month is enough to reach more than 3,000 people with the truth about abortion that no one else is telling them? Click here to start saving lives 365 days a year.