Why Did JoJo Siwa’s Board Game Cause Backlash From Parents?

JoJo Siwa, a 17-year-old social media influencer with millions of young fans on YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram, recently issued an apology when parents pointed out inappropriate questions in a board game associated with her name and likeness.

The game, JoJo’s Juice, was released by Nickelodeon and manufactured by Spin Master in 2018. The companies have since mutually agreed to pull the game from shelves.

JoJo Siwa in 2019
JoJo Siwa in 2019 | by Stephen J. Cohen/Getty Images

The ‘JoJo’s Juice’ board game included questions about arrests and nudity

JoJo’s Juice was aimed at young players ages six and up. It featured the influencer’s name and image on both the cover and cards.

Parents took to TikTok to express their concerns about many of the questions in the “Truth or Dare” component of the board game. Some questions deemed inappropriate had a suggestive component, such as “Have you ever gone outside without underwear?” and “Have you ever walked in on someone naked or had someone walk in on you?”

Other challenges asked game players who in the room they’d “most like to date,” if they’d ever stolen or been arrested, if they could twerk, and if they’d ever kissed a boy.

According to INSIDER, Nickelodeon and Spin Master released a joint statement agreeing to stop producing the game and to pull it from all remaining shelves in response to parents’ complaints.

“We respect and value the relationship JoJo Siwa has with her fans and take the concerns raised regarding the game ‘JoJo’s Juice’ very seriously,” Spin Master and Nickeloden shared in their statement. “This game is no longer being manufactured and we have requested that retailers pull any remaining product from their shelves.”

JoJo Siwa in 2019
JoJo Siwa in 2019 | Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

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The influencer apologized for the inappropriate questions

In a Jan. 2021 video on Instagram and TikTok, Siwa addressed parents’ concerns about the game head-on. She assured fans that she had nothing to do with the production of or content in the game and that she was hastily working to ensure that JoJo’s Juice would no longer be sold.

“Over the weekend, it has been brought to my attention by my fans and followers on TikTok that my name and my image have been used to promote this board game that has some really inappropriate content,” Siwa said in her video.

“Now, when companies make these games, they don’t run every aspect by me,” the influencer went on to say, “and so I had no idea of the types of questions that were on these playing cards.”

Siwa added, “Now when I first saw this, I was really really, really upset at how gross these questions were. And so I brought it to Nickelodeon’s attention immediately. Since then, they have been working to get this game stopped being made, and also pulled from all shelves wherever it’s being sold.”

Many of Siwa’s Instagram followers praised her for being so upfront and straightforward about the situation.

“Thanks for addressing this and being so mature about it!” one commenter wrote. “You’re such a great role model.”

Another Instagram user agreed, writing, “Thank you for talking about it! It makes so much more sense now that you have nothing to do with it!”

JoJo Siwa with her fellow 'Dance Moms' alums Nia Sioux, Kalani Hilliker, and Kendall Vertes
JoJo Siwa with her fellow ‘Dance Moms’ alums Nia Sioux, Kalani Hilliker, and Kendall Vertes | Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic

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Siwa rose to fame after ‘Dance Moms’

Siwa’s career took off after she first appeared as a contestant on Lifetime’s dance competition series, Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition, in 2013. Later, she and her mom, Jessalyn Siwa, were added to the main cast of Lifetime’s Dance Moms (also starring Abby Lee Miller) for several seasons.

The young dancer earned a name for herself on the show with her flamboyant, high-energy personality and her signature giant sparkly bows. After leaving Dance Moms, Siwa signed a contract with Nickelodeon, appearing on shows like Make It Pop and School of Rock. Her music career took off with her hit singles “Boomerang” and “Kid in a Candy Store,” and she embarked on her first live concert tour in 2019.

She also began to build her brand, selling JoJo-themed merchandise like JoJo’s Bows and sparkly, colorful accessories. Now, Siwa has a massive online fan base, including over 10 million followers on Instagram, 31 million TikTok followers, and over 12 million YouTube subscribers. She was even named one of TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2020.