Hasbro Insider Claims CRT Is Being Taught to Kids Through Products

A Hasbro worker claimed the company is attempting to teach children critical race theory through its products in an interview with the far-right activist group Project Veritas.

David Johnson, a packaging engineer who had been temporarily contracted to work with Hasbro for several weeks, claimed the company is working with the nonprofit organization The Conscious Kid to give Hasbro employees "critical race theory" training.

According to its website, The Conscious Kid is "an education, research, and policy organization dedicated to equity and promoting healthy racial identity development in youth." The organization offers support in "taking action to disrupt racism in kids."

The Conscious Kid's website offers resources, book lists and a special section dedicated to AAPI stories for adults to reference while teaching children about race.

Johnson spoke with Project Veritas founder James O'Keefe in an interview that was posted on YouTube. In the interview, Johnson rejected the idea that children should be taught about race at a young age, calling it "absurd."

"I think it's absurd to just state as fact that at two years old, that children are going to be racist, and using race to reason about who they're going to play with, and discriminating based on," Johnson said.

Hasbro toys
Packaging engineer David Johnson said Hasbro is working with the nonprofit organization The Conscious Kid to "indoctrinate" children in teaching them about critical race theory. Here, Hasbro toys are seen on display at a Target store on February 08, 2019, in San Rafael, California. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

During the interview, Johnson claimed that Hasbro and The Conscious Kid were attempting to introduce children to racial bias "before they're really able to understand what race and racism is." He alleged children were being taught critical race theory through products and packaging, though he did not provide specific examples.

According to a 2020 study from the American Psychological Association (APA), adults in the United States believe children should be almost 5 years old before the subject of race can be discussed with them. The study noted that previous research has found children in preschool and younger are aware of race, and may have already developed negative thoughts about certain racial groups.

Jessica Sullivan, the study co-author and an associate professor of psychology at Skidmore College said the delay in the conversations may make changing preconceived beliefs more difficult.

"Children are capable of thinking about all sorts of complex topics at a very young age," Sullivan said. "Even if adults don't talk to kids about race, children will work to make sense of their world and will come up with their own ideas, which may be inaccurate or detrimental."

In a training video Johnson leaked to Project Veritas, Katie Ishizuka-Stephens, a co-founder of The Conscious Kid, cited similar research on how perceptions of race at a young age affect how children interact with others.

"Children as young as two are already using race to reason about people's behaviors, and we may see this play out in daycare or on the playground and how kids are starting to choose or exclude playmates and friends," she said in the video.

Johnson said he disagreed with the assertions and came forward with his story because he opposed the "indoctrination of children" through critical race theory, and that he did not believe teaching children about race would help to combat racist ideologies.

The study by the APA found strategies such as a "colorblind" approach or refusing to discuss the topic were well-meaning but ineffective as they do not adequately address racial inequalities in the United States.