Hasbro Quietly, Procedurally Shreds Dreams of 10-Year-Old Girl (Update: Faust Responds) by

What remains of one young fan's letter of admiration to the company that owns MLP.
There is a cruel irony in the fact that the very kind of heartless, uncaring cynical world many of us came to pony to escape is sometimes best personified in the actions and behavior of its own managing company, Hasbro.

Whether they're cease-and-desisting a project you love or ruthlessly defending their trademark against fans caught in the crossfire, you can rest assured that the people involved will go home without an ounce of guilt, knowing they were "just following procedure".

Today's story is more of the same, but with a different victim. We stumbled upon this post on the /r/mylittlepony sub-reddit, titled "Hasbro destroyed my 10 year old daughter's letter." The title speaks for itself, but we figured it's so messed up, why the hell not go into it a little anyway?


Here's the full post from Reddit:
My daughter, who is a huge MLP fan, sent a letter to Hasbro a few weeks ago. It was a pretty standard letter from a ten year old, telling them how much she loved MLP, who was her favorite pony, etc. She included a suggestion for Trixie (take her off the show, no one likes her) Derpy (give her more screen time) and she pointed out that Rarity's horn was pink for the first season. She included her best Equestria Girl drawing, cut out and glued to the letter.
She got a response today. Rachelle Little, Hasbro's director of Business and Legal Affairs told her they don't accept "unsolicited submissions" and "that no one at Hasbro has read or will read any material that you send" and "the letter you sent has been destroyed".
I'm thinking this is a little over the top, my daughter's feeling were definitely hurt. They shredded her drawing of Rainbow Dash, and then sent her a letter telling they shredded it.
Is this really how Hasbro responds to fans' letters?
I was going to post a link to the letter, but it says "no pics Thursday" and I didn't want to break any rules of the sub. I can post a link to it on imgur it if that is OK.
To summarize, the poster's 10-year-old daughter sent a harmless drawing to Hasbro expressing her love for MLP to the company, who then opened it, forwarded it to legal as an "unsolicited submission", then shredded it, then mailed the girl back a letter saying they shredded it.

Here is the letter from Hasbro's legal department in full:

"Also, your puppy strayed onto our front lawn, so we shredded that, too."
So, the first and most obvious question here is, "How the hell did this happen?"

It's simple, really: large companies have very cold, often unforgiving blanket policies for handling any kind of non-business correspondence sent to them. The purpose of this is to make sure their asses are thoroughly and completely covered in the event that someone sends them an idea that later coincidentally makes it into a show episode or toy somewhere.

When you start just blindly sending every incoming letter over to legal without checking whether it should go to, say, the fan club, we call this kind of response "Zero Tolerance". You may recognize it as the same boneheaded policy that leads schools to see a bully punch a kid completely unprovoked, and then suspend both kids for fighting. Zero tolerance, in the real world, almost always means "zero room for common sense discretion", and is meant to make up for the predictable variances in common sense that any big organization would inevitably have. This is no exception.

The problem here is that Hasbro is a toy company. They don't always deal with litigious grown men who send them letters only planning to sue them later. Sometimes they deal with little girls, their actual target demographic, just wanting to write them a friendly letter saying how much they love the show. Thanks to their "zero tolerance" policy, though, even this gets the same brutal legal response.

The impact, of course, is that a little girl has her spirit crushed just a little, as she's reminded that the show she loves is little more than just a marketing vehicle for the large, faceless corporation selling its products. No doubt, this is a lesson she'll learn countless times in her life, but I think that 10 is a little too young to start getting cynical about the cruel business realities of modern society.

Now, how do we fix it?

Well, we can't fix Hasbro. No amount of bad press will make them admit that their "standard procedure" is perhaps in need of a little adjustment. The people who implemented this policy are so separated from the everyday impacts it has, that they'll likely never even notice it.

What we can do are two things:

  1. Find the right place to send fanmail: There are plenty of places one can send a letter of appreciation to the team behind MLP, right? Honestly, we don't know. We've never tried actually mailing them a letter.

    As a group, though, I think this is something we can figure out. The team at HN will be looking into what the appropriate venue is for fan mail, one that will receive the letters and put them to good use instead of shredding them and sending legal notices back. We will update this page accordingly if we find anything, and we'll make sure the other community sites know, just in case anyone goes looking for it.
  2. Show our support where Hasbro won't: Hasbro's legal department may not have much in the way of nice things to say to this little girl, but that doesn't mean that she needs to walk away with her spirit crushed. At the very least, I think we as fans can put together a show of support from us as a community, to show that yes, someone out there appreciates that you like the same show we do, and we want you to be rewarded for expressing that, not punished.

    We're contacting the author of the Reddit post as we speak to ask them for more information about this situation, and the best way for us to show our support as a community. We'll keep you updated on that as well.

A lot of us in the community have spent enough time on the planet to develop a thick candy-coated shell of cynicism around our hearts. We're not surprised by this at all. 

Still, though, I think it's necessary to call at least a little attention to things like this, because I don't think some kid deserves this shit.

UPDATE:

Some further research into this has suggested the actual problem at hand is that the letter was sent to Hasbro Studios in Burbank, CA, instead of the main offices of Hasbro Inc. in Pawtucket, RI.

As a television production studio, the former is more frequently exposed to suggestions addressed to them for show content, and would be more concerned with liability than their parent company, who likely receives such fan mail on a semi-regular basis. In fact, long-time fandom members will remember the ill-fated "Derpygate" letter and e-mail-writing campaign, in which Hasbro did respond (albeit using a form-letter, but one for the specific situation) to each complaint sent in to them.

There have also been some claims that this letter is fake, and that Hasbro would not send a letter so sternly rejecting "unsolicited submissions". While we cannot guarantee that this particular letter is authentic, entertainment companies have long had brutal unsolicited submissions policies, and Rachelle Little is indeed the director of business and legal affairs at Hasbro Studios in Burbank, CA.

It appears that the solution to this may in fact be as easy as submitting the same letter to Hasbro's offices in Pawtucket.

We have contacted the original submitter on Reddit with Hasbro's corporate office address in Pawtucket, and encouraged them to send the letter to that address instead. Hopefully the response will be more positive.

UPDATE 2:

It seems the word has spread fast about this little girl and her letter, and it has attracted the attention of some high-profile folks. Namely, show creator Lauren Faust, who wrote this letter in response to her:


The story also was covered by Equestria Daily, who reached a similar conclusion to us: that the little girl may have received a more favorable response had the letter gone to Hasbro Inc. in Rhode Island instead of Hasbro Studios in California. Of course, your average layman doesn't know this, so we can hardly blame them for the honest mistake.

This controversy could have been avoided entirely had Hasbro Studios included a note in their original rejection letter that said "Fan mail should go to this address instead". A little legalese etiquette would have gone a long way in this case.

Nonetheless, this story has gone "viral" in the community, and we're confident now that the little girl has no doubt seen much more support than she might have seen had the original message not been so harshly rejected.

A happy ending, in a way.

Comments (66)

  1. smh. fucking pathetic, hasbro is a bunch of pricks.

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    1. Seriously, what the fuck? I'm sorry, and I do agree that asking a company to completely remove a character who has been a plot staple is a bit over the top, but you can't be a douche to someone for hating a character that exists to be fucking hated!

      Delete
  2. To be fair, the little cunt insulted Trixie.

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    1. Must suck knowing a 10 year old as better taste than you.

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    2. Seriously, what the fuck? I'm sorry, and I do agree that asking a company to completely remove a character who has been a plot staple is a bit over the top, but you can't be a douche to someone for hating a character that exists to be fucking hated!

      Delete
  3. I would've shredded this sacrilege, too. Talking shit about Trixie.

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    1. Trixie is shit. So obvious even a 10 year old knows it.

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    2. Must suck knowing you have the same taste as a 10 year old and have to spam it on an obscure 4chan blogspot fanblog.

      Delete
  4. horse news, the website that runs titles such as "who would you fuck" and ">raep" and ran a lingerie contest two years running is definitely the right source to get in touch with a 10 year old girl about her fan letter.

    go fuck yourself you retarded neckbearded faggots and let someone else help who knows what they're doing, for example literally anyone else

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    1. Why are you so >triggered Anon?

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    2. OW THE EDGE
      >>/baphomet/ with the other insecure retards

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    3. Oh, no...NOT THE LINGERIE!

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    4. How does it feel to live in a black and white world anon?

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    5. OP is right you turds

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    6. This is the most bullshit comment I've seen in my entire life, and I practically live on Youtube.

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  5. POOPIE SCOOBIE!!!

    P
    O
    O
    P
    I
    E

    S
    C
    O
    O
    B
    I
    E
    !
    !

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    1. I'm just curious Petey. No sarcasm or insult intended here but do you use a bot to spam those Poopie Scoopie post or do you legit follow Horse News just to rush on the comment sections and type your little joke here ?

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    2. 10/10 makes people mad

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    3. If it was a bot it would appear as soon as the post did.

      Translation: He is a sad lonely little child with nothing better to do with their life.

      Delete
    4. I FUCKING HATE PIKAPETEY WHY IS HE NOT BANNED Ill DOO UT MYSELF

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    5. This is so inappropriate for the post and your little joke is not, and never will be, funny. Please go die in a fire.

      Delete
  6. I like this post. Show's off more of Hasbro's bullshit, and a call to arms I can totally support. She deserves some nice messages and maybe even a drawing or two.

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    1. Or maybe she's not real and you're a stupid motherfucker who got trolled easier than a SU fan.

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    2. Or maybe you're not real, none of this is actually happening and we're all just part of some autistic child's imagination that was built in the matrix that exists in another plain of reality.

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    3. Ya'll ok? Some unnecessary hostility here...

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    4. Some unnecessary hostility on a website frequented by channers ? Gee ,how unexpected

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    5. Bitch, did you just insult SU fans? Motherfucker, if you want to start something, I won't. But I have a friend who kick your ass.

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    6. Who WILL kick your ass. Sorry, I swear to god I wrote that the first time.

      Delete
  7. How fucking retarded are you? This is unprofessional bullshit that no one does. No one's going to take the time to make a fucking PR disaster happen. They're going to throw it in the trash and they're not going to take the time to write back and tell anyone they threw it in the trash.

    If you're this lacking in bullshit detection, then maybe you're spending too much time on Tumblr.

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    Replies
    1. You're speaking of newsieliscious here. The person who has a tenuous grip on reality as it is.

      Delete
  8. I don't know why some commentators are being harsh and dramatic for no reason. Try petting a soft animal and chilling out...

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    1. For real tho, I'm noticing that too. We don't have to be Mr. Edgy McOffensivepants every day.

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  9. When I was twelve and I wanted to write to J.K. Rowling through her publishing company, but I got a polite letter saying that she wouldn't be able to read it. I think that all children want to write fan mail at one point or another. It could be cool if we were able to put together an online series of letters for this girl.

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    1. Oops, I missed that typo.

      Delete
  10. They probably thought some autistic neckbeard has sent the letter

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    Replies
    1. >article clearly state that it's a common procedure applied by numerous companies
      2/10 trawlling made me reply

      Delete
  11. This is what you get every single time, when you have businessmen in charge of producing entertainment.

    BUSINESSMEN DON'T UNDERSTAND ART. Or storytelling. Or fiction or entertainment in general.

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  12. My that's off to the crew at HN for posting this. EQD is the fan site that the fandom needs, HN is the fan site that the fandom deserves, it's foul mouthed protector, it's Horse Knight.

    ReplyDelete
  13. HEY.
    NEWSIELICIOUS.
    Can't confirm if fake or not?
    Actually contact the relevant offices and see if they sent that letter back!

    EDIT: Yes it was a dickish to do, IF IT IS TRUE, but really, who cares? We all know it's a form letter that gets sent automatically. IF IT IS TRUE.

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    1. "Who cares" is actually a poor choice of words. What I meant tto say was, of course we care, but it's hardly news that they'd send a form letter. There is no point on reporting on it.

      Reporting on it being too stern and killjoy? That's another matter, but only worth a passing comment of about this length, preferably as part of a general article that sums up Hasbro's legal department and their character with lots of such anecdotes.

      ASSUMING this is all true.

      Yes I am offering my opinions on your article.

      --Haflinger S.T.

      Delete
  14. "Well, we can't fix Hasbro."

    Sure we can. All we need to do is get every single person in the fandom to pool their collective money together and buy enough Hasbro stock to get a vote.

    Simple as that.

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    Replies
    1. It won't happen. Give up on that. Hasbro has way too much money. Run the numbers and you'll see that you'll need tens or hundreds of thousands of bronies, EACH pitching in thousands of dollars, to get a significant enough chunk of the vote to matter.

      The only way to win this war is by hitting them where it hurts: PR.

      Delete
    2. And you sure are an expert at how badly someone's life can be ruined when their toxic nature becomes public

      How's the cross-country-move-away-from-your-problems going, tranny

      Delete
  15. If it's fake then whoever wrote that letter sure did their homework. Rachelle Ann Little is indeed a lawyer from Burbank California working for Hasbro's legal department, and I was only able to find one obscure reference to her, which I don't think I'd have been able to find if I didn't already have her name.

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    1. Or... they googled "hasbro studios legal department" and clicked on the first LinkedIn profile, right in the middle of the first page of the results.

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    2. I get no such search result.

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    3. Google isn't known for its consistent results, but I get it, http://imgur.com/gQEJaa0

      Delete
  16. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  17. I genuinely laughed at the letter. It's fucking hilarious.

    Seriously, why does anybody even give a flying fuck? Oh a ten year old's drawing was shredded, OH THE HUMANITY! That poor girl MUST be absolutely SCARRED FOR LIFE! Why, I wouldn't be surprised if she resorted to CUTTING!!! Oh, the poor, delicate little flower.

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    1. When your company makes its entire image on "we are great for little girls!", responding to a heartfelt fan letter from a little girl with "we just shredded your document without reading it" is kind of a bad-PR thing to do.

      Signed, an expert at bad PR

      Delete
    2. if you're an expert at bad pr, shouldn't hasbro do the opposite of what you say and continue shredding little girls' letters

      you know nothing aside from being a drama whore tranny as evidenced by the fact that your ban-list keeps getting longer and longer

      Delete
    3. My two cents is that it was okay to shred the letter, but not okay to send anything back.

      Delete
  18. No one's gone ">Reddit"? Shame on all of you. Each and every single one of you.

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    1. Shit were working on it.....

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  19. batten down your dicks everyone purple tranny is about to make this his own personal cause of the week

    T-10 until he tries to make some sort of offensive brony nom de plume for the 10 year old, possibly also begging for free art of her persona (that tinker came up with himself without asking anyone)

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    1. Actually, no, I was just about to sic you crazy motherfuckers on the perp.

      https://www.linkedin.com/pub/rachelle-little/8b/7a9/2a1 -- That is "Rachelle Little", the heartless corporate shitweasel who signed onto that letter.

      Go nuts, folks.

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    2. did no part of "not your personal army" get through to you

      how about the last 100 times we called you a dickless tranny and finally drove you into anonymity

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    3. ya gotta wonder what kind of doublethink is necessary to try and sic 4chan on people you don't like, then act shocked and confused when people talk about how hateful you are

      you're terrible and the world would be a better place if you went through with killing yourself like you've threatened the last thousand times

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    4. Doxing and encouraging open harassment. That's really classy and adult of you...

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    5. Tch, men can be so hyper-aggressive...

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    6. I love that one anon who's making all these threats, but hasn't got the balls to come out of anonymity.

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    7. do you know what 4chan is or

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    8. ha ha ha ... balls. good one detective.

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    9. Great idea, let's harass a corporate suit who might never read the letter or their response and just happens to have her name and signature on the legal department's stamp.

      Delete
  20. What the dumb kid gets for sending a drawing of a shitty non-canon spin off.

    Still pretty dick move on jewbros part

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