Frida Kahlo relatives win injunction to stop Barbie doll sales
Mattel said it has worked with a company which has the rights to use an image of the Mexican artist.
Distant relatives of the late Mexican artist Frida Kahlo have won a temporary injunction that stops sales of a Frida Barbie doll.
Kahlo’s great-niece Mara de Anda Romeo argues that Mattel does not have the rights to use Kahlo’s image as part of its Inspiring Women series.
According to a copy of the ruling, the toymaker and department stores in Mexico must stop selling the doll until the issue is resolved.
Pablo Sangri, a lawyer for Ms Anda Romeo, said those named in the suit can appeal against the ruling.
Mattel has said it worked with the Panama-based Frida Kahlo Corp which it claims has rights to the artist’s image.
The corporation said it got the rights through Kahlo’s niece, Isolda Pinedo Kahlo, more than a decade ago.
Critics also say the doll does not reflect Kahlo’s heavy, nearly conjoined eyebrows, and its costume does not accurately portray her elaborate Tehuana-style dresses.
Barbie is an American icon that has often been criticised as promoting an unrealistic body image and consumerist lifestyle. Kahlo was a lifelong communist who died in 1954 before the doll was introduced.
“This Barbie doll is meant to honour Frida Kahlo’s great legacy and story,” a Mattel spokesman said. “We followed the correct steps to secure permission and look forward to the matter being resolved in court.”