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Sex Is Back At CES

After being awarded the coveted Robotics Innovation award at CES 2019, the sex toy Osé had its accolade unscrupulously taken away. Now reinstated following a global backlash.

Announced in a celebratory post on the company founder’s website, Osé has raised US$2 million in funding and an apology from CES following the award being rescinded in October 2018.

Founder and CEO Lora Haddock in a statement thanked those who helped “amplify the message of driving inclusivity and diversity within tech.”

CEO Lora Haddock

The revocation of the award drew negative headlines around the world for the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) — the organisation behind the major CES annual tech show.

It cited its own terms and conditions as a means disqualifying the product: “entries deemed by CTA in their sole discretion to be immoral, obscene, indecent, profane or not in keeping with CTA’s image will be disqualified.”

Many online commentators, along with Lora DiCarlo, clapped back at the judgement, questioning why a woman’s sex toy would be deemed “immoral” or “obscene” when CES has often featured sex toys and robots for men.

Notably, the RealDoll sex robot Harmony, which debuted at CES 2018 in addition to a room showcasing virtual reality porn off the main conference at CES 2017.

Four months following Osé manufacturer Lora DiCarlo’s open letter to the CTA calling out gender bias in the tech space, the CTA has backtracked their previous backtrack and re-awarded the company.

“CTA did not handle this award properly,” stated CTA senior VP of marketing and communications, Jean Foster in a statement.

“This prompted some important conversations internally and with external advisors and we look forward to taking these learnings to continue to improve the show.”

Foster did not go into detail as to why it took the CTA four months to re-assign the award, but the statement did promise updated policies would be announced ahead of CES 2020.

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