Teen cooks up Easy Bake change

Claims of sexism get Hasbro's attention; changes coming to Easy Bake ovens

Published On: Dec 13 2012 03:45:13 PM EST

A New Jersey girl who launched an Easy Bake battle on her little brother's behalf has garnered enough support to get the attentions of celebrity chefs, and the company targeted in her online petition.

McKenna Pope, 13, was concerned when her little brother Gavin wanted his own Easy Bake over. The 4 year old loves to cook, but his family said all the Easy Bake ovens they saw seemed to be marketed to girls.

Read: Easy Bake Ovens, sexist?

"I found it pretty appalling that they did not feature males of any sort in any of their packaging and promotional materials or anything," she said.

Picking Up Support

She launched her online petition for a gender-neutral model on Change. org, where it has rounded up about 40,000 signatures. Celebrities like "Top Chef" judge Hugh Acheson and Joshua Whigham, a former "Chopped" contestant and Los Angeles chef, have taken to social media to comment on the cause.

Whigham suggests asking the folks at Hasbro for something like stainless steel or black might help neutralize the toy. Even if it goes back to its former red, black and yellow colors, perhaps then baking won't just be viewed as a game for girls, as many of industry members recall from their childhood.

Hasbro Meeting in the Works

Now, Hasbro, the company that makes the iconic child's oven, has announced it will invite McKenna Pope to their offices to discuss how to make a gender-neutral design a reality.