The mother of a 6-year-old girl named Alexa has written a letter to Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon in an effort to get the company to help stop bullying after she saw her daughter being bullied over her name, which she shares with the popular virtual assistant sold by Amazon, NBC New York reports.
"Mr. Bezos, I write to you as a father and human being rather than the CEO of Amazon," the woman, who says she wants to be identified as Lauren to protect her child's identity. "We are not asking for wealth or recognition from this request. We just want to correct an error we believe was a giant mistake."
Lauren goes on to explain that the company's virtual assistant, Alexa, has resulted in bullying and other negative interactions with other people for her daughter, just because she's also named Alexa.
"Kids are telling her, ‘Turn on my T.V., tell me today’s weather…," Lauren wrote. "They laugh at her and treat her like a servant, and this has been an ongoing issue, everywhere we go."
Lauren writes that everywhere they go, people often joke with her daughter, asking if she can "do the same things the Alexa device does?" She adds that her 6-year-old has been terribly affected by the comments and is sick of people comparing her to the virtual assistant.
"It’s the world we live in," she writes. "And people mean no harm. But Alexa is a person, not a machine, and people have to stop referring to her like she is one."
"This is everywhere," the letter continues. "You’ve already ruined the name, but you don’t have to continue to hurt these girls and women," she wrote. "I ask, make an apology and start a movement. I am."
Lauren's daughter isn't the only person who has grown sick and tired of being compared to a virtual assistant. An Ask Reddit thread posted two years ago is filled with stories from people about how their lives changed once Amazon released Alexa, with the vast majority of comments coming from women who aren't amused anymore by the jokes.
An Amazon service representative named Patricia reached out to Lauren, "on behalf of Jeff Bezos," apologizing for what Lauren and her daughter have gone through since the device had become popular.
"I'm very sorry to hear about the experience you're having. I definitely understand this has been frustrating," Patricia wrote. "I really appreciate the time you've taken to voice your concern and let us know about the issues you've run into. I have sent your feedback on to our internal teams. Thanks for making sure we're aware of your experience."