A West Jordan couple has decided to abandon their idea for a sock monkey modeled after black presidential candidate Barack Obama.
Elizabeth and David Lawson say they will instead be setting up a Web site to sell a Johnny McSock Politically Plush Toy, modeled after candidate John McCain. And they're planning a lineup of political characters, sans Obama.
TheSockObama dolls were pulled by contracted manufacturer Binkley Toys Inc. after a flood of critics had seen them as racist. No Obama dolls were shipped, and customers were issued refunds.
The racial undertones of depicting black Americans as monkeys dates back to Jim Crow when the comparison was used to frame blacks as inferior.
In a press release, Elizabeth and David Lawson said amid "less than favorable commentary" they're indefinitely suspending the Obama doll.
"It appears there are those still unable to see the very positive effect TheSockObama has actually had on the nation and beyond," the release said. "If nothing else, TheSockObama started a national debate about a myriad of considerations. Isn't freely communicating the first step in the right direction?"
The Lawsons have also said they aren't affiliated with another Web site, SockPoliticians.com. Owners of that site haven't responded to Deseret News interview requests.