From The New York Times:
Parent alert: the Walt Disney Company is now offering refunds for all those “Baby Einstein” videos that did not make children into geniuses.
Obviously, Disney has not been delivering on its implied promise to parents buying Baby Einstein and its other titles, Baby Mozart, Baby Shakespeare and Baby Galileo. Susan Linn, director of Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, decided to do something about it.
In 2006, she prevailed upon Disney and another company, Brainy Baby, to drop the word “educational” from their marketing. But this wasn’t enough to warn parents that their children would not become the next Jonas Salk or Madame Curie by viewing a few DVDs.
“Disney was never held accountable, and parents were never given any compensation. So we shared our information and research with a team of public health lawyers,” Ms. Linn said.
After threatening a class-action lawsuit alleging unfair and deceptive advertising, these brave crusaders were able to secure a full refund for anyone feeling unfairly saddled by a still-stupid baby. After all, Disney must be held responsible for a child doodling with poop when he should be explaining string theory.
According to the article, studies have been done which show that television watching from one through three years of age is associated with attention problems at age seven. As opposed to attention problems from just, say, being seven.
Isn’t it ironic that the people running these studies were probably raised by mothers who drank and smoked while pregnant and didn’t baby-proof their homes? Now we don’t even have toilet-drownings or socket-forkings to thin the herd.
I hope it’s not too late to get in on this action. I spent years playing with the Fisher Price farm set, yet I now live in a city and cannot grow crops, not even a measly window sill garden. My Easy Bake oven did not imbue me with pastry-making aplomb. Watching Scooby Doo failed to help me solve crime. And my experience with Weebles, which wobble but don’t fall down, is still too painful for me to talk about. Where’s my refund?
Generations of children who longed for Barbie and Ken’s pleasingly smooth nether regions could only grow to feel shame for their own clumsy, real world genitalia. I say a cruel injustice has been perpetrated here. I call on Susan Linn to speak for those too young or too stupid to seize the opportunity for notoriety and fiduciary gain. Maybe Disney could do a video teaching us all about that.
A semi-related post:
Stupid Baby Names, Part Duh