LEGO has not created ‘genderless’ bricks for its toy sets
CLAIM: LEGO has unveiled new “genderless bricks with no female or male connectors.”
AP ASSESSMENT: False. A LEGO spokesperson confirmed the company has not created genderless bricks for its building sets. The claim originated on a satire website, but was later shared as real on social media.
THE FACTS: On May 20, The Babylon Bee, a Christian satire site, published an article claiming LEGO had announced a new set of toys. The cover image accompanying the satirical article said, “Introducing genderless LEGO,” and showed a smooth block without the connectors that are a key characteristic of the toys.
The article included a fabricated LEGO press release and quotes from non-existent LEGO spokespeople. “As part of its new push toward inclusion and diversity, LEGO has unveiled a new set of genderless bricks without male or female connectors,” the article said. “The entirely smooth bricks have no suggestive male nubs or female receptors and instead have entirely smooth, androgynous sides all around.”
On May 21, the image from The Babylon Bee was picked up and posted on Facebook without any context that the image was from a satirical website. The post’s caption says, “This is the world we live in.”
But the article and the image are fake.
“Although the image uses our logo and is made to look like an official LEGO product, this isn’t something we’ve created,” said Jennifer McDonald, director of communications for LEGO Americas.
The satirical article followed the May 20 announcement of LEGO’s Everyone is Awesome set, which the company said was designed to celebrate diversity. In announcing the new model, the company said it was inspired by the rainbow flag, “which is used as a symbol of love and acceptance by the LGBTQIA+ community.” It includes 11 figures, each with its own hairstyle and rainbow color.
This is part of The Associated Press’ ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.
Here’s more information on Facebook’s fact-checking program: https://www.facebook.com/help/1952307158131536