The 13-year-old New Jersey girl who started a petition for boy-friendly Easy-Bake ovens will meet Monday with Hasbro, the company that makes the kitchen toy.
In a statement, Hasbro said it invited McKenna Pope and her family, of Garfield, Bergen County, to make their case at its Pawtucket, R.I., headquarters as “a consumer-centric company” would.
“Through the years, based on both market research and buying patterns, we have seen that the primary interest in the Easy-Bake Oven comes from girls,” the company said.
In the past, Hasbro has made gender-neutral Easy-Bake ovens, it said.
“Clearly we believe it is a great product that can provide lots of enjoyment for both girls and boys ages 8 and up,” the company said.
Pope’s campaign began when she tried to buy an Easy-Bake oven for her gastronomically inclined 4-year-old brother, only to discover that the product was only available in “girlie purple and pink colors,” she wrote in a petition on Change.org.
So far, more than 41,000 people have signed the petition urging Hasbro to market the product to boys as well as girls.
Pope and her brother have also garnered support from some major male bakers and chefs. In a YouTube video titled “Everyone Can Cook,” culinary celebrities such as “Top Chef” star Manuel Trevino, Joshua Whigham of the Bazaar in Beverly Hills, Calif., and Michael Lomonaco of Porter House in New York cheer on the eighth-grader’s efforts.
“Little boys and little girls can all be chefs, right?” asks Lomonaco in the video, to a roar of approval from his mostly male staff.