ultimate boyfriends

Will Mattel Let a Gay Compete In Its Search For A Real-Life Ken Doll?

I can only pray that Genuine Ken: The Search for the Great American Boyfriend, Mattel’s new reality web series, is as terrible as exploitative as The Bachelor Pad. By which I mean: as awesome.

In a grand cross-platform marketing plan, the toy maker is launching its dating series search as a way to … um, I’m not sure exactly. Convince twenty- and thirty-something men they should be playing with Barbie toys? The series is “an online competition reality show unlike any other,” we’re told. “For eight drama packed episodes, eight eligible men will duke it out in challenge after challenge to be named the ultimate boyfriend – ‘A Genuine Ken’ (What a Doll!). They’ll be evaluated on date-ability, personal style, personality, general hotness, and overall KEN-ability.”

There are a ton of profiles live on GenuineKen.com, where you can vote HotOrNot-style on whether these dudes are “Ken-tastic,” though I have no idea what criteria people are using because the hottest and most well-rounded guys are receiving terrible scores.

By next month, Mattel and producers will select their eight finalists, who will then compete, somehow, for a chance to visit Malibu and NYC and, I’m assuming, score a date with Barbie.

Or another Ken doll?

From what I can tell there’s nothing in the contest’s Terms Of Service that prohibit the gays from playing. The only restrictive eligibility requirement pertains to age: You’ve gotta be 18-30. And willing to be used by a billion-dollar toy maker to push merch.

[flv:http://genuineken.com/swf/genuine_ken_intro.flv http://queerty-prodweb.s3.amazonaws.com/wp/docs/2010/09/genkenboard.jpg 650 400]

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    Since when is Ken not Gay???? :p

  • Cam

    They’ll do exactly what all reality shows do, if they figure out the guy is gay they will order him to stay closeted during the show, and if he wins, they will have it in the contract that he is not allowed to discuss his “Personal Life” as it will detract from their product. Typical B.S. like that.

  • Blake J

    Spot on! Similar to how I was going to respond when I read the headline.

  • Hilarious

    Woohoo a contest about a doll that celebrates Hitler’s dream and of course all Queerty cares about is if they’ll pick someone who’s gay.

    Transgender, non-white, non-male, non-blondes, and anyone without blue eyes need not apply.

    Genuine Ken, the all American boyfriend. Who isn’t Native American.

  • victim of circumstance

    if the contest were to be based only on looking like ken, i think it would be a toss op between derek hough and dax holt.

  • Brendan

    I expect nothing less than full frontal.

  • Hugo Quezel Poirier


    no offense number 4 , but considering Ken is blonde and male and straight . I don’t see why transexuals black people would fit the bill.

    It’s not homophobic or intolerant, it’s just logical.

    Of course playing it straight is easy , but I find that kinda destructive. So gay men , unless they’re prepared to play out the total straight american boy should forget about it.

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