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Mattel Dumps 'SeaWorld Trainer Barbie' After Animal Rights Backlash

Mattel announced it was ending production of 'SeaWorld Trainer Barbie.' The move follows an animal rights backlash against the park.
/ Source: NBC News
SeaWorld Trainer Barbie
A promotional image for SeaWorld Trainer Barbie.Mattel

'SeaWorld Trainer Barbie' needs to look for a new gig.

Mattel spokesman Alex Clark confirmed Friday the company will stop making the SeaWorld Trainer Barbie doll, along with all its SeaWorld-related merchandise.

"We're not making the doll anymore," Clark told NBC News. "Consumers may find it on retail shelves but we are not shipping and not producing the doll."

Clark refrained from specifying any one reason for the move.

"A number of factors go into a decision like that," he said. "Their licensing deal expired and we've elected not to renew it."

The news follows growing backlash against the aquatic theme park over its treatment of captive orcas and the safety of its trainers.

In 2010, a SeaWorld trainer was drowned by an orca in front of watching park guests. The company was fined and a 2013 documentary Blackfish fueled public outcry over the death and over captive killer whales. Recently, SeaWorld launched a series of PSA-style TV ads featuring its trainers defending the company's commitment to animal welfare.

Animal activist groups praised the move by Mattel.

"It is very fitting that Mattel would dump Sea World Trainer Barbie," said PETA spokeswoman Stephanie Shaw. "She's now able to maintain her animal-friendly image."

The animal activist group is calling on any remaining SeaWorld partners, including the AAA motor club, to join the list of corporate sponsors that have severed ties with SeaWorld. Previously, Southwest Airlines, Taco Bell, and the Miami Dolphins all announced they were ending their brand partnerships with the aquatic sea park.

Among the items Mattel is ceasing to produce is "Barbie I Can Be: A SeaWorld Trainer Doll Play Set." It includes a Barbie in a trainer's wet suit, a baby Shamu orca, a dolphin, and a training wand.