Popular children's show 'Peppa Pig' introduces first same-sex couple
In an episode that aired Tuesday on Channel 5 in the United Kingdom, Penny the Polar Bear tells main character Peppa Pig that she has “two mummies” and draws a picture of herself holding hands with them.
“I live with my mummy and my other mummy,” Penny says in the episode, which is titled “Families.” She adds that one of her moms is a doctor.
The cartoon show, which centers around a 4-year-old piglet and her family, has been translated into 40 languages and broadcast in over 180 countries and territories, including the U.S., according to its production company, Entertainment One.
“Peppa Pig” has often been called a “global phenomenon,” though it has also faced some criticism for reinforcing gender stereotypes by showcasing a nuclear family structure with a dad who works and a stay-at-home mom.
A petition was first circulated in 2019 calling on the show, which has aired for nearly two decades and won numerous awards including three BAFTAs, to feature same-sex parents.
The request has garnered nearly 25,000 signatures over the last few years.
“Children watching Peppa Pig are at an impressionable age, and excluding same-sex families will teach them that only families with either a single parent or two parents of different sexes are normal,” the petition says. “Peppa Pig is not just for entertainment, children are inevitably learning from it too.”
The new storyline comes amid scrutiny in recent months over LGBTQ representation in other productions catered to children.
Peppa Pig is by no means the first childrens’ programme to feature same-sex couples. Popular US cartoon Arthur, gained massive praise in 2019 after it showed a gay wedding in the 22nd series.
Other popular cartoons to have touched on LGBT relationships have included Adventure Time and Steven Universe - both are also from the US but aimed at audiences aged 10 and above.
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