Why Lego Is Changing This Controversial Policy

January 13, 2016, 8:58 PM UTC
Berlin Museum Collects Legos For Ai Weiwei
BERLIN, GERMANY - OCTOBER 30: Donated Lego pieces lie on the front seat of a BMW car that is being used as a collection point for Lego donations for Chinese artist Ai Weiwei next to Martin-Gropius-Bau museum on October 30, 2015 in Berlin, Germany. Museums across the world are hosting collection points after the Lego company rejected Ai Weiwei's request to purchase a large quantity of Legos by stating that the company does not involve itself in politics. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
Photograph by Sean Gallup — Getty Images

Lego announced Wednesday it’s reversing a conversational policy it had in place.

Previously, the company asked customers buying its toy bricks in bulk what they were using them for, although that will no longer be the case, the BBC reported.

The reason for the change has to do with Chinese artist and political dissident, Ai Weiwei, who accused Lego of censorship in October when the company wouldn’t sell bricks to him for an art project. He ultimately ended up using fake bricks and made Lego’s refusal public.

But the company said Wednesday it didn’t want to implement guidelines that “could result in misunderstandings or be perceived as inconsistent,” according to a statement published on its website.

The statement continues, “As of January 1st, the LEGO Group no longer asks for the thematic purpose when selling large quantities of LEGO bricks for projects. Instead, the customers will be asked to make it clear—if they intend to display their LEGO creations in public—that the LEGO Group does not support or endorse the specific projects.”

“I think Lego made a good move, I think this would be a small victory for freedom of speech,” said the artist to the BBC after the announcement.

In October, Ai began receiving Lego donations after his request was denied.

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