Ai Weiwei, a Chinese artist well known for courting controversy, had previously sent in a bulk order for Legos to create artwork to be shown at the National Gallery of Victoria. In September, Lego declined Ai Weiwei’ Studio’s request as “they cannot approve the use of Legos for political works.”
Ai Weiwei has since denounced Lego’s decision as “an act of censorship and discrimination” via an Instagram post. Reaction by fans online has been swift as many gladly offered up their own Legos to the artist. The hashtag #legosforweiwei also began trending on Twitter.
Ai is now working on a way to accept the donations.
Lego has defended their stance. In a statement to the Guardian, Lego said, “As a company dedicated to delivering great creative play experiences to children, we refrain – on a global level – from actively engaging in or endorsing the use of Lego bricks in projects or contexts of a political agenda. This principle is not new.”
CNN reports that this isn’t the first time that Lego has hidden from politics.