The founder and CEO of the company that makes Bratz and LOL Surprise dolls went on an inflammatory screed against a Black influencer who accused the company of copying her image.
Isaac Larian, who runs MGA Entertainment, has since apologized for his rant, in which he called influencer Amina Mucciolo a "disgrace to Black people and the BLM cause." He has also deleted his Twitter account.
But the company, which also manufactures Little Tikes among other children's toys, is denying that they copied Mucciolo's look.
Mucciolo, who goes by @StudioMucci on Instagram, described herself to BuzzFeed News as "an artist, designer, and color enthusiast." After starting her Instagram account in 2012 promote her party decor business, Mucciolo gained more than 300,000 followers with her unique style, home decor, and love of rainbows and patterns. She also has a YouTube channel called "Tasselfairy."
Mucciolo also discusses her personal life, such as coming out as bisexual and her autism diagnosis at age 35, to encourage her followers to love themselves.
"I basically just want everybody to feel welcomed, loved, and accepted. And I try to use my social media platforms to serve that purpose," she told BuzzFeed News.
In late 2019, Mucciolo claims she began receiving DMs from followers who asked "if I knew that LOL Surprise made me into a doll." When she checked out the photos of the doll, she said she was shocked.
"The first thing I noticed was the exact replica of a hairstyle I did to celebrate my 35th birthday," she said. "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."
Mucciolo said she wore her hair in the hairstyle from November 2018 to February 2019.
According to the company, the doll in question, "Rainbow Raver," was released in June 2019.
On June 7 of this year, Mucciolo posted about the doll on her Instagram account, writing that the company "created a doll based on my entire image and identity without my permission."
She claimed she had tried to contact MGA Entertainment, but they ignored her. So, she decided to speak up and asked fans to sign a petition in her favor.
This in not the first time Mucciolo has accused a prominent company of copying her aesthetic and design. Last year, she publicly called out Lisa Frank for, she claimed, copying her apartment for a pop-up hotel. Lisa Frank has denied her claims.
"It was really hard to have this happen," she said. "A lot of my white peers were getting opportunities and design collaborations, meanwhile I was only getting stolen from."
LOL Surprise responded on June 10, denying her allegations and saying the doll has been in development since September 2018.
But Mucciolo has continued to criticize the company.