Ken & Barbie break up over deforestation
Ken and Barbie's split over rainforest destruction had all the hallmarks of a public celebrity fallout: there was scandal, name-calling, and inappropriate photos. In October 2011 Mattel announced it would drop deforestation. But the question remains: Will Ken and Barbie be able to put this behind them? Here's how the story unfolded:
June 2011 - In the middle of an interview Ken, the other half of the world's most famous doll couple, is shocked to discover Barbie's shameful secret: she was wrapping herself in destroyed rainforest from Indonesia.
Barbie's deforestation habit was fed by Barbie's manufacturer Mattel - who was purchasing products from Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), a company notorious for its trashing of Indonesia's rainforests and peatlands.
June 7 - Ken's interview goes public on YouTube and other video sites in over 20 different languages (including Chinese and Arabic)! Followed quickly by the news that Ken had broken it off with the world's most famous doll, announcing "Barbie, It's over! I don't date girls who are into deforestation."
As news of their breakup takes off on Twitter a fresh drama breaks out at Mattel's headquarters in California where activists were demanding Mattel stop wrapping Barbie in packaging that comes at the cost of rainforests - including the home of the endangered Sumatran tiger.
- In the midst of all this the doll herself was pulled over by police while riding her bright pink bulldozer in a 'bulldozer-free' zone.
Thousands of concerned people all over the world began to email Mattel and post messages to Barbie's Facebook page - telling the toy manufacturer to stop the destruction of rainforests for throw-away toy packaging.
June 10 - The stream of comments to Barbie's Facebook page becomes strong enough for Mattel to close the page temporarily.
As the world begins to learn the details behind Mattel and Barbie's deforestation habit, including the connections of other toy companies like Hasbro, Disney and Lego to rainforest destruction, the former couple begins exchanging bitter tweets.
The public Twitter feud culminates in Barbie accidentally tweeting (instead of DMing) an inappropriate picture of herself in mid-deforestation to Ken.
New 'looks' for Barbie begin to appear on Facebook as users design outfits for her latest career choice: 'Rainforest Destroyer'.
As the days pass without a firm commitment from Mattel, to ensure Barbie's deforestation habit ends, Ken's tweets about the plight of Indonesia's rainforests become increasingly desperate ...
Did you find this story interesting? Be the first to like or comment.