Conservative actor, comedian, and political commentator Steven Crowder is drawing criticism for comments he made on his program “Louder with Crowder,” where he seemed to make fun of Mattel’s newly announced Barbie doll with Down syndrome.
In the video clip, Crowder, along with Gerald Morgan and Nick DiPaolo, watch an Inside Edition News story about the new Barbie doll.
“So Barbie, Mattel, in order to boost inclusivity, just announced, and at one point you would have thought this was a sketch … this is real, they just announced the release – I feel bad even saying it – Down syndrome Barbie,” Crowder, a professing Christian, said.
When Kim Culmon, Barbie Senior Vice President & Head of Design, says in the news story that the new Barbie doll is “breaking barriers,” Crowder can be heard saying, “Yeah, with retard strength.”
He then pokes fun at an upcoming “sickle cell Barbie” Mattel is planning to release.
“Did she have to say, ‘smash through barriers,’ when we all know about special needs strength?” asked Crowder.
He said he had worked with people with Down syndrome before, and they “never complained” about not being represented.
Christian media buyer David Herrmann responded to Crowder's reaction to the doll calling his take “really low and terrible.”
“This is a really low and terrible take. I know the world doesn't expect much from you in regards to dignity or compassion but this feels like a new low as hard as that is to get from you.”
This is a really low and terrible take. I know the world doesn't expect much from you in regards to dignity or compassion but this feels like a new low as hard as that is to get from you.— David Herrmann (@herrmanndigital) April 27, 2023
The Land Center for Cultural Engagement at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary director Daniel Darling also responded, calling Crowder's reaction “gross.”
“This is gross. Christianity sees every human as being made in the image of God and possessing full value and dignity. A reflexively reactionary conservativism without Christianity will become as toxic as the progressivism it seeks to oppose.”
“It was an honor working with Barbie on the Barbie doll with Down syndrome,” said Kandi Pickard, president of the National Down Syndrome Society. “This means so much for our community, who, for the first time, can play with a Barbie doll that looks like them. This Barbie serves as a reminder that we should never underestimate the power of representation. It is a huge step forward for inclusion and a moment that we are celebrating,” she said.
This is gross. Christianity sees every human as being made in the image of God and possessing full value and dignity. A a reflexively reactionary conservativism without Christianity will become as toxic as the progressivism it seeks to oppose. https://t.co/enr5mMTsro— Daniel Darling (@dandarling) April 27, 2023
The new doll has a “new face and body sculpt to be more illustrative of women with Down syndrome, including a shorter frame and a longer torso,” according to a news release.
The doll’s dress also features butterflies and yellow and blue colors, which are “symbols and colors associated with Down syndrome awareness,” the release added.
Photo courtesy: ©Sandra Gabriel/Unsplash
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.