Right-wing “ex-trans” pundit Oli London has accused the building-block toy company LEGO of pushing “gender ideology onto its young consumers” because a recent LEGO ad shows queer families enjoying LGBTQ+-themed builds.
LEGO’s ad highlights the “A to Z of Awesome,” an exhibition of queer-inclusive LEGO creations constructed by LGBTQ+ people. The company invited LGBTQ+ families to explore an exhibition of the builds, and the ad shows those families and their children enjoying the rainbow-colored creations and playing with LEGO blocks.
He got 18 operations to look “Korean” and changed his pronouns to “Them/they/kor/ean.” Now he says it’s because “the alpha straight male is being eroded.”
“There was a couple I saw that represented our family,” one parent says in the ad. “For my children to see something that’s aimed at them, they haven’t had that experience before — it’s pretty special.” Another parent says, “As a couple with young children, it’s really important that we help their peer group, and especially their peer group’s parents, to be more inclusive.”
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The “A to Z of Awesome” campaign is actually from 2022, but LEGO shared the ad of the exhibit on their Instagram in April. The company has also been displaying some of the campaign’s builds recently in European venues.
London began publicly criticizing the company on May 27. In a tweet published that day, he wrote, “LEGO wants your children to become TRANS! The toy maker which is recommended for aged 5+ wants to subconsciously influence your children with gender ideology each time they play with the building sets. Do you think this is okay?”
In a now-deleted tweet, London also wrote, “Children’s toy maker LEGO has released an LGBTQI+ range featuring transgender building sets for kids age 5+.”
A handful of outraged commenters on Twitter and Instagram began threatening to boycott LEGO. Similar threats have recently been made against the outdoor apparel company The North Face, the beer brand Bud Light, and the retailer Target for their LGBTQ+-inclusive marketing campaigns.
A LEGO spokesperson told LGBTQ Nation, “The information on Twitter is false. We have not released any LGBTQIA+ sets aimed at children. A-Z of Awesome was a marketing campaign released last year that featured sets built by our amazing adult fans. None of these sets are for sale.”
“LEGO play is for everyone, and we are committed to building a more kind, empathetic, and understanding society now and for future generations,” the spokesperson added.
London is a white, ex-trans person who had 18 surgeries to turn into a “Korean girl” before deciding to once again live as a British man. He then became a far-right activist campaigning against trans rights. In his book, Gender Madness, he blamed his de-transition on the gender-affirming care “industry.”
He has since taken to regularly tweeting against LGBTQ+-inclusive brands. His tweets have even been cited by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and former Fox News host Tucker Carlson to justify their own transphobic views.
LEGO has reportedly donated over $1 million to organizations in support of the LGBTQ+ community. The company has previously partnered with the U.K.-based LGBTQ+ anti-bullying charity Diversity Role Models and the U.S.-based LGBTQ+ student advocacy organization GLSEN. The company also offers LBGTQ+ employee advocacy groups and regularly partners with Workplace Pride, Stonewall, and Open for Business to further LGBTQ+ inclusion in its workplaces and globally.