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CCFC has announced the results of its annual TOADY award for the worst toy of the year:

The votes are in for the 2016 TOADY (Toys Oppressive and Destructive to Young children) Award, and Pink Fizz’s skin-irritating, endocrine-disrupting makeup set — marketed to girls as young as age three as the “the ultimate glam makeup collection in a box” — took the title handily with 33% of the vote.

The Game of Life: Empire was runner-up (17%), followed by the View-Master Batman: The Animated Series Virtual Reality Pack (16%), Shopkins Tall Mall Playset (16%), Pokemon GO (15%), and Play-Doh Hulk and Iron Man (2%).

Thanks so much to this year’s TOADY partners: EPIC Privacy (which nominated Pokemon GO), Families Managing Media (View-Master Batman Virtual Reality Pack), New Moon Girls (Lulu’s Makeup Set), Public Citizen’s Commercial Alert program (Game of Life: Empire), The Story of Stuff (Shopkins Tall Mall Playset), and TRUCE (Play-Doh Hulk and Iron Man). If you haven’t already, we hope you’ll take a minute to read their great nominating blog posts.

And thanks to all who voted! Many of you left great comments which captured the essence of exactly how “oppressive and destructive” these toys are.

Kaylan Crowther of San Antonio, TX, commented on our award winner so tartly, we may ask her to be a guest writer for next year’s campaign materials! Crowther said: “Pink Fizz Lulu’s Makeup Set deserves the 2016 TOADY. Ages 3 – 20? Hey, you know what your beautiful toddler face needs? MAKEUP. Start having insecurities about your looks already! Need to sexualize your preschooler? Look no further! But wait, there’s more! Because this makeup set doesn’t just contain subtle misogyny, it also has flammable and carcinogenic ingredients!”

Frank Rogers of Washington, DC, said the runner-up, Game of Life: Empire, was “Shameless corporate advertising to kids. There’s more to ‘Life’ than mindlessly giving all of your money to corporations.”

Pokemon GO, the fad of the summer of 2016, earned the vote of Thomas Mason of Scotts Valley, CA. “Children need more time outside, but not looking at a smart phone,” Mason said. “What happened to catch, or playing in a mound of dirt? We have stifled their imaginations.”

Craig Hinch of Brandon, Manitoba, Canada, voted for the Shopkins Tall Mall Playset. “I believe this is the worst, and the series in general, as it encourages a child to consume and shop,” Hinch said. “It encourages the notion that shopping and spending money is a goal to achieve, all while disguised as cute characters. It’s using stereotypes, marketing it as something for girls alone (despite boys liking it too) because girls ‘should be’ all about shopping and materialism.”

Mary Ann Jacob, M.D., of Anchorage, AK, voted for the View-Master Batman Virtual Reality Pack. “As a pediatrician, I had a difficult time just picking one of the candidates for the 2016 TOADY,” Dr. Jacob said. “In the end, two things made me choose the View-Master Batman: the fact that ‘virtual’ reality keeps young children from experiencing the real world, and the concern that with this ‘toy,’ children could access developmentally inappropriate images and stories.”

Vicki Bartolini of Franklin, MA, lamented the 2016 version of Play-Doh. “Originally Play-Doh encouraged children to really use their imaginations—to come up with all kinds of scenarios from the simple to the complex,” Vicki notes. “There was no push in any direction—especially towards any kind of violence. The ‘power’ was in the creativity. Let’s keep Play-Doh open-ended to stimulate children’s expressiveness!”

But Lulu’s Makeup Set was clearly the worst of the worst—exploiting the aspirations of very young girls, with chemicals that can hurt them!

Thanks to everyone who voted and helped spread the word. Together, we’re shining a light on the toy industry’s most troubling trends—because children’s play is too important to surrender to marketers.

Doesn’t this look totally awesome?

“Jackie,” starring Natalie Portman as First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, expands in wider release this week. The focus of the film is Mrs. Kennedy’s efforts to shape her husband’s legacy following his assassination in 1963. But it also gives us a glimpse of her famous televised tour of the White House, the first time most Americans got a chance to see the interior. Her taste and expertise in art and antiques brought an unprecedented commitment to history and design that continues today.

This morning the Washington Area Film Critics announced our award winners for 2016.

“La La Land” was singing a happy tune when The Washington, D.C. Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA) announced their top honorees for 2016 this morning. Sparkling musical love story “La La Land” was the big winner, racking up seven awards, including Best Film and Best Director (Damien Chazelle).

“La La Land,” a song-and-dance romance about two star-crossed lovers struggling to make their professional dreams a reality, also earned the Best Original Screenplay prize for Chazelle’s adept balance of intimate human drama and heart-soaring musical set-pieces. The film swept the technical categories, including Best Original Score for Justin Hurwitz’s lushly beautiful compositions and Best Cinematography for Linus Sandgren’s resplendent lensing.

WAFCA awarded Best Actor to Casey Affleck for his quietly devastating work in touching family drama “Manchester by the Sea.” In the film, Affleck plays a grieving handyman who is given custody of his teenage nephew following the sudden death of the boy’s father. Lucas Hedges, who portrays his nephew, took home the award for Best Youth Performance.

For her exquisitely authentic turn in “Jackie,” Natalie Portman was feted with Best Actress honors. Portman portrays First Lady Jackie Kennedy during the week following President John F. Kennedy’s assassination.

Best Supporting Actor was awarded to Mahershala Ali, as a sympathetic drug dealer who offers solace to a bullied and neglected young boy, in “Moonlight.”

Best Supporting Actress went to Viola Davis for her searing work in “Fences,” based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama by August Wilson. Of special note, Davis previously earned a Tony Award for playing the same role in a 2010 Broadway production.

The Best Acting Ensemble award went to gritty Texas-set crime drama “Hell or High Water,” starring Chris Pine, Ben Foster, Jeff Bridges, Gil Birmingham and Katy Mixon.

In thoughtfully adapting author Ted Chiang’s short story “Story of Your Life,” Eric Heisserer earned Best Adapted Screenplay honors for humanist science-fiction drama “Arrival.”

Lyrical stop-motion animated adventure “Kubo and the Two Strings,” set in Ancient Japan, was awarded Best Animated Feature.

Best Documentary kudos went to “13th,” director Ava DuVernay’s incisive look at racism and the United States criminal justice system.

Paul Verhoeven’s electrifying psychological thriller “Elle” won Best Foreign Language Film.

WAFCA introduced two new categories this year. For his delicious turn as a big friendly giant who befriends a young orphaned girl in “The BFG,” Mark Rylance won the award for Best Motion Capture Performance. Tenderly playing a different kind of giant who comes to the aid of a child in need, Liam Neeson earned Best Voice Performance for “A Monster Calls.”

The Joe Barber Award for Best Portrayal of Washington, DC, given each year in honor of one of WAFCA’s cherished late members, went to “Jackie.”

The Washington, D.C. Area Film Critics Association comprises 50 DC-VA-MD-based film critics from television, radio, print and the Internet. Voting was conducted from December 2-4, 2016.


Best Film:
La La Land

Best Director:
Damien Chazelle (La La Land)

Best Actor:
Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea)

Best Actress:
Natalie Portman (Jackie)

Best Supporting Actor:
Mahershala Ali (Moonlight)

Best Supporting Actress:
Viola Davis (Fences)

Best Acting Ensemble:
Hell or High Water

Best Youth Performance:
Lucas Hedges (Manchester by the Sea)

Best Voice Performance:
Liam Neeson (A Monster Calls)

Best Motion Capture Performance:
Mark Rylance (The BFG)

Best Original Screenplay:
Damien Chazelle (La La Land)

Best Adapted Screenplay:
Eric Heisserer, Based on the Story “Story of Your Life” by Ted Chiang (Arrival)

Best Animated Feature:
Kubo and the Two Strings

Best Documentary:

Best Foreign Language Film:

Best Production Design:
Production Designer: David Wasco;
Set Decorator: Sandy Reynolds-Wasco, SDSA (La La Land)

Best Cinematography:
Linus Sandgren, SFS (La La Land)

Best Editing:
Tom Cross, ACE (La La Land)

Best Original Score:
Justin Hurwitz (La La Land)

The Joe Barber Award for Best Portrayal of Washington, DC:

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