According to a purported company whistleblower, toy manufacturer Hasbro, whose library of properties includes Transformers, G.I. Joe, and Power Rangers, is “attempting to covertly push CRT, critical race theory,” upon their employees and customers.
Hasbro’s CRT-based agenda was first brought to light by investigative journalism organization Project Veritas run by James O’Keefe, who on July 18th published an interview with the whistleblower, company packaging engineer David Johnson, in which he asserted that Hasbro “is attempting to covertly push CRT, critical race theory, through branding and messaging through their products.”
“I decided to come to Project Veritas because I oppose the indoctrination of children that [Hasbro] wanted to push,” Johnson explained.
As part of the aforementioned interview, Johnson revealed that Hasbro had recently partnered with The Conscious Kid, a self-described “education, research, and policy organisation dedicated to equity and promoting healthy racial identity development in youth” known for publishing a study often attributed to the recent cancellation of Dr. Seuss, to host a training program aimed at “[introducing] children to racial bias at an early age before they’re even able to understand what race and racism is.”
Recalling how Johnson had submitted his recorded footage immediately after he had attended, by company mandate, The Conscious Kid’s training, O’Keefe then asked the whistleblower why he felt it was “so important” to “get this tape to us immediately,” to which Johnson replied, “Mostly, originally, it was just out of shock.”
“I couldn’t really believe what I was hearing in the meeting,” recalled the engineer. “It was just so overtly…this word gets overused, but it was overtly racist and very, very discriminatory, and the first thing that I thought of was just ‘I have to tell people about this’ just because of how big the company is.”
Turning to the presentation featured in Hasbro’s CRT-heavy training, in which The Conscious Kid co-founder Katie Ishizuka-Stephens informed attendees that “children as young as two are already using race to reason about people’s behavior,” Johnson asserted, “Two year old racists. Just an absurd concept.”
“I think it’s absurd to just state,” added Johnson, “as fact, that children are going to be racist and using race to reason about who they’re going to play with or discriminate against.”
Later in the same presentation, Ishizuka-Stephens further asserts that by “age five” white children not only “show many of the same racial attitudes held by adults,” but are “also sensitive to the status of different racial groups in our society and show a high-status bias towards white people, which is the socially privileged group in our society,” while “black and Latinx children do not show the same in-group preference.”
“This is just absolutely absurd, to just state, categorically, that at five years old, your children are as racist as the adults, which is also implying that the parents are also racist in some manner,” observed Johnson.
He continued, “I don’t know how they don’t see it as discriminatory to group an entire race of people […] children develop things based on what they’re taught and if they’re going to be teaching this to children, then yes, you’re going to have more children with a racial mindset because you’re teaching children to have a racial mindset.”
When asked by O’Keefe what he believes Hasbro’s “end goal” is with their The Conscious Kid partnership, Johnson opined, “I don’t think Hasbro has an end goal with this honestly.”
“This was the only meeting where this came up,” he noted. “However, I think the end goal for The Conscious Kid is to make sure that Hasbro is going to use their lens and Hasbro is going to push their principles through all levels of their product, marketing, packaging, what have you.”
To that, in a third and final recording shown by Project Veritas, Ishizuka-Stephens’ fellow The Conscious Kid co-founder, Ramon Stephens, teaches that there are “three things” creators could do to “either reinforce or disrupt biases through product.”
“[Product] can send efficient or affirming messages about societal structures and narratives,” explains Stephens. “Products can also communicate messages about racial power and privilege, and it can also impact the way children see and interact with the world where the creators are being intentional or not.”
Project Veritas concludes their video with a clip of one of their reporters, James Lalino, speaking with Hasbro Executive VP and Chief Human Resources Dolph Johnson, who can be seen asserting, “If we think we can influence the social good, that’s the role we think we oughta play as part of our company.”
“Three, four, five year old[s] are inherently racist. Is that something Hasbro supports?” asks Lalino on the topic of the company’s training materials. “The thought that children that young can make a decision about race?”
“No, I don’t think that’s where we would — That’s not a stance we would take,” responds Johnson, right as the video ends.
As of writing, Hasbro has not yet publicly responded to Project Veritas’ exposé.
What do you make of Hasbro’s partnership with The Conscious Kid? Let us know your thoughts on social media or in the comments down below!