A disgruntled mother has blasted Smyths Toys for selling a WWE toy which she claims promotes violence towards the U.K's NHS.
Forty-one-year-old Sabrina Fitzsimmons saw the British toy company advertising the WWE Wrekkin Slambulance Vehicle on June 22.
Fitzsimmons and her partner Chrissie, who is a healthcare worker in the U.K, had been watching TV when the advert came on. In the advert, WWE star Drew McIntyre declares kids can "tear the ambulance apart for the ultimate brawl," as a stretcher could be seen being smashed through the ambulance's back doors.
The Mattel product which can be found online here in the U.S. for $39.99, is listed on Smyths Toys website for £39.99 and is marketed for kids aged 6 and onwards.
According to the Daily Star, the mom-of-3 wrote an email to Smyths Toys Superstore, saying: "This toy is massively inappropriate.
"I wouldn't purchase that for my child and I certainly wouldn't get behind advertising it, I just think you're crossing a line of ethics and morals. Toys are supposed to teach our children, not only to be fun. When I saw it I just thought 'what a time to be advertising a toy like this to children.' These people in the health care sector saved our lives.
"To advocate for a toy that perpetuates the message of violence towards the vehicles and the people that help us, I just think 'what kind of message are you sending to children here?' How is that ok?
"WWE has a huge following from littles ones right up to adults, including my thirteen-year-old son, I think it's just such the wrong message," she later said to the outlet.
"I wasn't trying to be a 'Karen' but I just found it really offensive given the pressure I know the services have been under and the sacrifices that they've made. I could see that the advert really upset my partner.
"I work in retail and you use some degree of common sense. If that fell on my desk and I was told 'we're going to advertise this' I would be asking questions.
"Is this good at any time, not just after a pandemic, to advocate violence against emergency workers? It's never a good thing."
Fitzsimmons then asked on the Smyths Toys Facebook page: "What the logic is in advertising a toy that encourages the destruction of an ambulance at a time when there are active campaigns to reduce violence towards essential workers?"
In a reply to the disgruntled mom, Smyths Toys vaguely said: "Hi there! Thanks for [sic] in touch. Apologies for any disappointment caused by this. I can see from our system that you have been in touch with an agent regarding this issue. Apologies again for any upset or disappointment caused. Best wishes!"
But the mom wants to hear that the company will stop selling the toy entirely.
"Instead it was 'sorry it offended you,' I think they completely missed the message. It won't just have offended me, it offended my partner who goes to work every day to help other people in the emergency services," she explained.
"A lot of her friends work there, she's witnessed and been party to having violence against her and her friends and her colleagues like I myself have in retail. We're trying to curb that and get that message across that it's not acceptable and they're perpetuating a toy that is telling kids that it is at a very young and impressionable age. I think it's so wrong."
What do you think?