The makers of a robotic sex toy for women by startup Lora DiCarlo won the CES 2019 Innovation Awards Honoree in the Robotics and Drones and then the organisers of the gadgets’ show took it away, calling it ‘immoral.’
Not only was it stripped off the award, but it was also banned from exhibiting on the show floor, which was happening at a separate media event in Vegas. Ose’s makers say it’s sexism.
The organiser of the annual trade show, Consumer Technology Association (CTA) sent an email to the company explaining the disqualification saying that it has the right to do so to any entry that was “deemed by CTA in their sole discretion to be immoral, obscene, indecent, profane or not in keeping with CTA’s image.”
The public sentiment, however, does not seem to be in favour of CES and CTA’s decision. CES has been accused of gender bias and sexism.
Lora Haddock, the CEO of Lora DiCarlo wrote a letter saying “CES and the CTA have a long, documented history of gender bias, sexism, misogyny, and double standards, much like the tech industry as a whole.”
An independent panel of judges had selected Lora DiCarlo’s Ose vibrator last year to win a CES 2019 Innovation Honoree Award in the robotics and drone category. CTS later said that “the product does not fit into any of our existing product categories and should not have been accepted. We have apologised to the company for our mistake,” according to a report by TheNextWeb.
In her opinion, this is an example of the double standard at the tech show, which is already under fire for not including enough women. “Men’s sexuality is allowed to be explicit with a literal sex robot in the shape of an unrealistically proportioned woman and VR porn in point of pride along the aisle. Female sexuality, on the other hand, is heavily muted if not outrighted banned,” she said.