I think they're trying to give an honest perspective about what sells and what doesn't. Historically action figures of female characters do not sell that well. That's not discriminitory. That's a business statement on how well one class of products sells compared with another.
Yeah, as I mentioned, I'm fine with them not making a toy if they don't think it will sell. That is all that needs to be said though. To say we're not making it because it is a girl's ship, is very ill-advised, all economics aside, IMHO. I understand the marketing component, I just think you have to be careful about how things are presented to the general public.
For example, there may be loads of market research that shows that Asian kids don't buy action figures. But you wouldn't want to cite that as a reason for not making Asian action figure characters. I've worked at several marketing companies, and that would be a HUGE misstep. You never want to exclude any demographic based on their perceived economic impact.
Just my 2 cents...I'm not really trying to blast Hasbro, I just think some of their responses come across as somewhat less than PC.