Mattel in dispute with Frida Kahlo descendant over doll


1 photo

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Toy-maker Mattel was in a dispute Thursday with a distant relative of the late Mexican artist Frida Kahlo over rights to a Frida Barbie doll released as part of the company's Inspiring Women series.

Kahlo's great-niece Mara de Anda Romeo said Mattel doesn't have the rights to use Kahlo's image.

Pablo Sangri, a lawyer for de Anda Romeo, said his client doesn't seek money, but wants Mattel to talk about redesigning the doll.

"We will talk to them about regularizing this situation, and by regularizing I mean talking about the appearance of the doll, its characteristics, the history the doll should have to match what the artist really was," Sangri said.

Critics complain the doll doesn't reflect Kahlo's heavy, nearly conjoined eyebrows, and they say its costume doesn't accurately portray the elaborate Tehuana-style dresses the artist wore.

That is, it's more Barbie-like than Frida-like. Barbie is an American icon that has often been criticized as promoting an unrealistic body image and consumerist lifestyle. Kahlo was a life-long communist who died in 1954 before the doll was introduced.

Mattel said in a statement that it worked with the Panama-based Frida Kahlo Corp., "which owns all the rights."

"The Frida Kahlo Corporation actively participated in the process of designing the doll, Mattel has its permission and a legal contract that grants it the rights to make a doll of the great Frida Kahlo," the company's statement said.

The corporation said it got the rights through Kahlo's niece, Isolda Pinedo Kahlo, more than a decade ago.

The corporation said in a statement that it "celebrates the ideological contributions of Frida Kahlo which have transcended the borders of art and which will influence new generations as a world icon through the Frida Kahlo Barbie, which conserves the essence of Barbie and the legacy of Frida Kahlo."

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Photos

The Associated Press

    SIGN UP FOR THE KSL.COM NEWSLETTER

    Catch up on the top news and features from KSL.com, sent weekly.
    By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to KSL.com's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

    KSL Weather Forecast