American Girl Responds After People Think Fake Gun-Toting 'Karen' Doll Is Real

Fake American Girl
Adam The Creator/Facebook

If it feels like the name "Karen"/ has been thrown around an awful lot these days, it's not just you. The name has taken on an identify of its own lately, and it's now basically impossible to hear it without the image of a woman in a Kate Gosselin haircut asking to speak to the manager springing to mind. At least, that's precisely the image one person was thinking of before creating a mock ad for a fake American Girl doll named Karen that quickly went viral.

  • In case you're still lost on the whole "Karen" thing, allow us to give you a brief refresher ... 

    A "Karen" generally refers to a "rude, obnoxious, and insufferable" white woman who comes off as very entitled, according to the highly official Urban Dictionary

    Of course, Karens vary widely in behavior, but recently the name has been attached to everyone from a woman who pulled a gun on a family outside Chipotle to another woman who prevented a family from leaving a Kroger parking lot. (Clearly, store parking lots are her main stomping grounds.)

    Got it? Good.

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  • The doll "ad" first started circulating June 29, where it was shared on the Facebook page Adam The Creator.

    "Meet Karen, 2020 girl of the year," it read. "She's an independant thinker who refuses to wear a mask in public places!"

    "Karen" is wearing a lavender jumpsuit, stands maskless in a Walmart store, and is toting a handgun at her side (because it's her CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT, dammit!).

    In short, she looks rather terrifying.

  • The whole thing sure looks like a typical American Girl doll ad, except for a few telltale signs ... 


    Seriously, though -- the tongue-in-cheek tone, combined with the not so thinly veiled mockery, made this one a dead giveaway it wasn't legit. And, as a few rather eagle-eyed commenters noted, the word "independent" was also spelled incorrectly. (Something tells us the folks at American Girl would at least run this through spell-check before posting.)

    Last, but certainly not least, there's also the fact that American Girl is all about empowering young girls by way of acceptance and inclusion -- and there's just something about a gun-toting Karen who angrily refuses to wear a mask that just doesn't feel like she'd ever join the ranks of Addy and Samantha.

  • Immediately realizing that, a lot of people on Facebook found the whole thing rather hysterical.

    "Omgggg!" wrote one person.

    "Why is this so funny?" asked another person. 

    Thousands of others tagged their friends or spouses in the comments, or left a string of cry-laugh emojis.

  • But plenty of others actually thought the whole thing was real -- which was actually pretty hilarious too. 

    "Man it's not real? I wanted to buy one," one person commented.

    "American Girl really stepped up their game since we were little," another person wrote before tagging a friend.

    Others responded with outrage.

    "@American_Girl I saw a post of an American Girl doll, Karen, who refuses to wear a mask and carries a gun as disgusting," one person tweeted at the company. "Is this what we want to teach our children?"

    Then there were those who took an opportunity to speak out against the whole "Karen" phenomenon to begin with.

    "I'm proud to be a Karen," wrote one woman. "And don't you forget it. Look at her. Complete social distancing."

    (Uh ... technically that's true?)

  • It wasn't long before American Girl responded. 

    "Donna, we were equally disgusted with this post," the company responded to one outraged fan. "Please be assured we are taking the appropriate steps to ensure this is removed."

    In another response, the company mentioned legal action, tweeting

    "Thank you for taking the time to share this information with us. We were informed of this post a few days ago and are working with the appropriate teams at American Girl to ensure this copyright violation is handled appropriately."

  • But the humor of that response was not lost on people ... 

    "American Girl Calls Manager Over 'Karen' Doll Parody," a headline from the AV Club read Monday.

    "Wow, @American_Girl, you just Karen'd a Karen doll!" someone else tweeted.

    Although the folks at American Girl were likely outraged by the use of the company's logo, many people on Twitter pointed out there are differences between copyright infringement and protected parody law -- which means the Karen Doll will likely remain on the internet whether AG likes it or not.