LEGO donates $4 million to help fight racism and inequality

4 June 2020, 12:26

By Katie Louise Smith

The company donated to "organizations dedicated to supporting black children and educating all children about racial equality," and paused advertising on their police-related play sets.

Following on from the Black Lives Matter protests that have reached all 50 states in the US, and are now taking place in cities across the world, LEGO have voiced their support, and have made a considerable donation to help fight racism and inequality.

In a tweet, posted on June 3rd, LEGO wrote: "We stand with the black community against racism and inequality. There is much to do. We will donate $4 million to organizations dedicated to supporting black children and educating all children about racial equality."

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In addition to their donation, LEGO took part in #BlackOutTuesday, by asking online stores to stop promoting certain LEGO sets.

Multiple sites reported that an email from Rakuten (who deal with LEGO’s affiliate marketing) was sent around, asking all affiliate retailers to "remove" certain LEGO sets "from sites and any marketing ASAP". These sets included LEGO City Police Station, Fire Station, Police Dog Unit, Patrol Car, Fire Plane, Mobile Command Centre, Police Highway Arrest and City Donut Shop Opening set. The White House was also included in the list.

While some people were impressed by the statement, the email (that you can read in full here) led to some confusion.

Per's report, a spokesperson for LEGO later clarified the email in a statement, saying that it was only intended as part of their decision to respect #BlackOutTuesday: "We requested that our affiliate partners refrain from posting promotional LEGO content as part of our decision to respect #BlackOutTuesday and pause posting content on our social media channels in response to the tragic events in the US. We regret any misunderstanding and will ensure that we are clearer about our intentions in the future."

The sets still remain online and available to buy, but advertising for them has been paused.

Should LEGO have gone further?