The hosts of “Fox and Friends,” Fox News Channel’s morning show, recently blasted arts and crafts maker Crayola for manufacturing a special brand of markers the company says are ethnically insensitive.
The brand’s Multicultural Markers feature many different hues of skin tones, unlike its traditional sets.
On April 7, host Brian Kilmeade introduced the story and news contributor Michelle Malkin criticized the markers.
“It’s just goofy, I have to say that I am proud to say that I say I survived my childhood without ,” Malkin said on the show. “I was fine with ‘Burnt Sienna’ and I think really most elementary school kids are fine with pink or blue.”
Malkin then suggested that the specific special brand is really an underlying method of capitalizing off of liberal parents, rather than appealing to children.
“I understand that this is pandering more to liberal parents than it is to kids who really have no need for such things,” she added. “The only color that this really is about is green—it’s good, smart savvy politically-correct marketing by Crayola.”
Chelsea Rudman, blogger for Media Matters, questioned the segment’s recent feature of the markers and claimed the special brand had been around for years.
Crayola’s Web site supports Rudman’s claims as a timeline of the company’s products shows that the multicultural line was indeed introduced in 1992.
Rudman buttressed her point about the line’s significance with a 1992 New York Times article published at the onset of the multicultural line’s release.
According to the article, teachers and children in Maryland’s Montgomery County school district were tired of seeing the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. being drawn with a black crayon and as a result, Binney & Smith, manufacturers of Crayola, released a special set of skin-tone crayons.
“Teachers wanted children to color drawings of themselves to reflect how they think they look,” Mark O’Brien, a spokesman for the company told the Times upon the multicultural brand’s release.
According to the blog Ethan Non Sequitur, the brand was spoofed last year by a circulating Facebook picture at the onset of the passing of the Arizona immigration bill, which charges misdemeanors to those lacking immigration documents or proof of citizenship.
In the picture, the seven dark hues of crayons are highlighted with a headline saying, “We need to see your proof of citizenship,” while the lone white crayon is headed with “Welcome to Arizona, Have a nice day.”