In 2001, the businessman Isaac Larian struck gold when he launched the Bratz dolls following his time with Mattel….home to the Barbie doll.
His net worth now sings to the tune of $1 billion.
In 2020, his company –MGA- is accused of using ideas created by the well known black influencer Amina Mucciolo to create a new doll set to generate even more wealth for the business.
The ‘Rainbow Raver‘s tale below…
Mucciolo goes by the name StudioMucci on Instagram and saw her passion for art, design and colour turn her into one of the platform’s biggest influencers and amassing a following of over 500,000 followers across all social media platforms.
In 2019, she began to receive messages from fans asking her if she was aware that LOL Surprise (a company owned by Larian) had created a replica doll in her likeness.
She was stunned.
The first thing I noticed was the exact replica of a hairstyle I did to celebrate my 35th birthday. It was aqua with rainbow highlights, and it was shocking because the hairstyle was the result of my imagination and leftover hair I had from the previous style I wore. I didn’t have a visual reference or anything, so it was disturbing to see something that came straight from my mind, to be duplicated on a toy that I had no part in creating.
The doll was delivered to the masses in June 2019…months after the creative stepped out with her now signature style.
She claims she was ignored when she reached out to the company to quiz them on the similarities between her style and their lucrative doll, and explains that she launched a petition she hoped would help she and her fans get to the bottom of the alleged theft of intellectual property.
Why? Because she believes that that is not the first time her ideas have been swiped to generate cash for a corporation or rival influencer.
It was really hard to have this happen. A lot of my white peers were getting opportunities and design collaborations, meanwhile I was only getting stolen from.
Reps from LOL Surprise released a statement which insisted that they were not influenced by Amina’s style and explained that the doll at the heart of the drama has been in development since September 2018.
Many were unconvinced and took to social media to defend Amina against what the alleged theft.
Enraged, Larian released this statement….
You are a liar and a extortionist [sic] and fraud.Who’s your so called lawyer? Put his name and contact information here publicly now so we can contact him or her. Now we will not longer be nice and we will sue you for defamation, extortion and fraud, etc. Watch!
Unfortunately, the aggressive nature of the remark generated more attention for the story and saw the businessman hit by a wave of messages condemning him for threatening the influencer.
in which the non-Black chairman and ceo of @mgaent calls a Black woman a “disgrace to black people,” after she put the company on blast for stealing her likeness.
i invite you to join me in never purchasing another lolsurprise, lalaloopsy, or bratz doll again. https://t.co/TfOkcGkQQP
— EricaJoy (@EricaJoy) June 20, 2020
He deleted his account on Twitter shortly after…but not before releasing a statement he hoped would encourage his customers to see things from his perspective.
I’ve been a Bratz girl for YEARS and I’m really hurt over this, but it can’t be ignored just because of my personal attachments. The CEO really called a black woman a “disgrace” after they blatantly stole her image for a doll. This isn’t okay. This is horrible. 😞 pic.twitter.com/KTzr8JJ5HJ
— HRH of Altea 🌙✨ (@RheaMorris_) June 20, 2020
can you give compensation to amina mucciolo for using her likeness in your lol surprise line without permission and hold your ceo accountable for going on a racist tirade against her for talking about it on twitter were not going to forget that https://t.co/zHGjsQvCEI
— Santi (@M0STlMA) June 22, 2020
As a mother of a 4 year old I will not buy @Bratz dolls. I wont support a company saying #BlackLivesMatter but steals @StudioMucci a black womans image w/out paying her #symbolismisnotactivism pic.twitter.com/n2OXZ8IUSR
— Erica N Smith (@E_N_Smith) June 21, 2020
My daughter adores LOL, Bratz, and @StudioMucci in particular. She’s even started making her own dolls, we’ve bought the hair kits, apoxies, we will not be purchasing them any more. #LOL you use ugliness and racism don’t be shocked we walk away. 👊🏻👊🏼👊🏽👊🏾👊🏿💕
— Ash Huber (@SocHoliday) June 23, 2020
God studiomucci cannot catch a break this poor woman is just constantly being ripped off by people using her creativity to make money…
— digitalsoop (@digitalsoop) June 23, 2020