LEGO has changed its guidelines for selling bricks in large quantities. In a statement released Tuesday, the company said it would no longer ask purchasers to disclose the “thematic purpose” of a project that would require ordering in bulk.
The new policy responds to “misunderstandings” towards the company’s previous guidelines to steer clear of its bricks used for “specific agendas”. This follows controversy that arose last year, when Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei was refused a bulk order of Legos for a new artwork.
In an Instagram post on October 24, 2015, the Chinese artist and political activist wrote: “In September Lego refused Ai Weiwei Studio’s request for a bulk order of Legos to create artwork to be shown at the National Gallery of Victoria as ‘they cannot approve the use of Legos for political works’.”
At the time, LEGO spokesperson Roar Rude Trangbaek told CNN Money “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,” but declined to comment specifically on Ai’s case.
Lego was met with backlash and widely criticized for censorship, as the online community erupted in support for the artist. The hashtag #legosforaiweiwei went viral.
For its part, LEGO said they do not censor or ban creative use of LEGO bricks.
The adjusted guidelines state that the company will no longer ask for the reason when selling large quantities of LEGO bricks for projects, but that customers will be asked to make clear “that the LEGO Group does not support or endorse the specific projects” if the projects are displayed in public.
Scroll through the gallery above to read more about LEGO’s attempts to steer away from politically sensitive projects in the past.