Film/TV

Peppa Pig Accused of Sexism by the London Fire Brigade

Beloved British cartoon Peppa Pig is currently in the middle of a new debate — though this time it doesn't involve Momo.

Over the weekend, the London Fire Brigade (LFB) criticized the show via Twitter for using "out of date stereotypical gender specific wording" in a recent episode called the "The Fire Engine," per CNN.

"Come on @peppapig, we've not been firemen for 30 years. You have a huge influence on kids & using out of date stereotypical gender specific wording prevents young girls from becoming firefighters," the LFB wrote, referring to the show's use of the term "fireman."

However, Peppa Pig wasn't the only childhood institution taken to task for gender-exclusionary language. According to the outlet, the LFB also expressed their disapproval with another animated firefighter, the eponymous Fireman Sam.

In a statement provided to CNN, an LFB spokesperson defended the tweets by saying, "We need to challenge outdated language that our research is showing is stopping young girls and women from considering firefighting as a rewarding and professional career." The spokesperson went on to cite a recent report about a four-year-old who believed she couldn't become a firefighter because she is a girl. "This shows that children's cartoons make a huge impression on young people and it's time for all media to treat us with respect and call us firefighters what we have been for the past 30 years."

And though the LFB had a very valid point, the tweet sparked an online debate with detractors posting pictures of female firefighters in a Peppa Pig book and Firefighter Sam's Firefighter Penny Morris character (though the LFB pointed out that her presence is "devalued" by the show's name).

Unfortunately, it didn't stop there. Never one to pass up an opportunity to (loudly) voice his opinion, Piers Morgan also decided to weigh in on the debate, writing, "If women are being 'put off' joining the fire service because Fireman Sam - A CARTOON CHARACTER - supposedly 'perpetuates male stereotypes' then can I politely suggest these women probably don't have what it takes to fight fires."

That said, amidst all the naysay, the LFB continued to amplify their #FirefightingSexism effort. Over the weekend, the organization took a moment to laud Mattel's firefighter Barbie in honor of her 60th birthday. "Great to have another supporter in our #FirefightingSexism campaign," they tweeted. "Welcome Barbie! She's coming to the rescue, helping girls & boys to imagine everything they can become by joining the Brigade, in our new gold kit too."

Photo courtesy of Entertainment One.



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