Top chefs join call for gender-neutral Easy-Bake
FILE - This Sept. 8, 2011 file photo shows Hasbro's newest version of their famous "Easy Bake Oven" in Pawtucket, R.I. An eighth-grade girl from Garfield, N.J., has started an online petition asking Pawtucket, R.I.-based Hasbro to make the toy ovens in gender-neutral colors and feature boys on the package after she went to buy one for her little brother and discovered that it comes only in girly pink and purple, with girls and only girls on the box and in the commercials. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia, File)
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Some well-known male chefs are getting behind a New Jersey girl's call for Hasbro to make a gender-neutral Easy-Bake Oven.
Chefs including Manuel Trevino of TV's "Top Chef" and Michael Lomonaco of Porterhouse New York are featured in a YouTube video applauding McKenna Pope's online petition, which had reached about 40,000 signatures as of Tuesday on the website Change.org.
The 13-year-old 8th-grader from Garfield, N.J., started the petition when she went to buy an Easy-Bake Oven for her 4-year-old-brother, Gavyn Boscio, but discovered it comes only in purple and pink. She wants Pawtucket, R.I.-based Hasbro to feature boys on the box of the toy and to make it in gender-neutral colors.
McKenna Pope, 13, right, and her brother Gavyn Boscio, 4, pose for a photo at their home in Garfield, N.J. on Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012. Pope started a petition demanding the toy company Hasbro make its Easy-Bake Oven more boy friendly. She was inspired to do so when Gavyn put the oven on his Christmas wish list and she and their mother, Erica Boscio, found the toy only available with girls on the packaging and in pink or purple colors. The petition garnered more than 30,000 signatures in a little more than a week. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Celebrity chef Bobby Flay said last week he agreed that Hasbro should make an oven in other colors to appeal to boys, and in the nearly 3-minute-long video posted online Tuesday by Flay's publicist, several chefs from around the country joined in on the call.
A spokesman for Hasbro did not comment.
Lomonaco is known for his TV appearances and was executive chef at Windows on the World atop the north tower of the World Trade Center at the time of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. In the video, he and other chefs root for McKenna.
"We signed your petition McKenna! You get Hasbro to change that packaging! Little boys and little girls can all be chefs," he says to cheers from the rest of his kitchen.