As part of her Australian adventure, for some reason Oprah Winfrey thought it was important for her lucky troupe of 300 viewers to visit the Dafel Dolls And Bear Shop in Melbourne. Who knows? Perhaps this store has a cultural legacy that makes it of critical importance to visit when one goes to Australia. But Ms. Winfrey was shocked and disturbed when her producers discovered that this store makes some of its money by promoting one of the most unflattering stereotypes of black women in history: the mammy. Yet, she visited the store anyway. Hip Hop Wired offers a summary of what occurred:
An Australian store was forced to remove seemingly racist dolls called “Mamee Dolls” to prepare for a visit from Oprah Winfrey. As previously reported, Winfrey and her audience on an eight-day Aussie adventure as part of her ‘Favorite Things’ segment give-away. According to the Herald Sun, the talk show mogul and her 300 guests were scheduled to visit The Dafel Dolls And Bear Shop in Melbourne when her producers requested that the store’s “Mamee” dolls be removed from the shelves.
The Mamee dolls show a dark skinned African-American woman with red lipstick, wearing a maid costume and a scarf around her head. The store owner reportedly obliged and the dolls were removed. See more pictures of the offensive “Mamee Dolls” on Hip Hop Wired.