The heartwarming inclusion of a same-sex family in an episode of the popular children’s animated series Peppa Pig is simply too much to bear for some people.
An episode broadcast in the UK last week, titled Families, saw a character telling her classmates: “I’m Penny Polar Bear. I live with my mommy and my other mommy.”
“One mommy is a doctor and one mommy cooks spaghetti. I love spaghetti,” she added.
The introduction of the same-sex family follows a petition signed by 24,000 people calling on the producers of Peppa Pig to be more LGBTQ inclusive.
“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,” said the petition’s creators.
“This means that children of same-sex parents may feel alienated by Peppa Pig, and that other children may be more likely to bully them, simply through ignorance,” they added.
The show’s move has invariably infuriated conservative individuals, groups and politicians around the world who continue to perpetuate hysteria that children are being sexualised or brainwashed by simply showing them diverse relationships.
Federico Mollicone, culture spokesperson for the right-wing populist Brothers of Italy political party, has, for example, called for a ban on the episode in Italy, describing it as “unacceptable”.
He told La Stampa newspaper: “We cannot accept gender indoctrination. Once again the politically correct has struck, at the expense of our children. Can’t children just be children?”
British writer and politician Nick Buckley tweeted: “That’s the end of the Peppa Pig phenomenon. What a shame. Education not indoctrination.”
American congressional candidate Irene Armendariz-Jackson took to Twitter to express her outrage. She ominously warned that “This is not really about LGBTQ representation anymore. This is about teaching our girls that they don’t need men to start families as God intended.”
Disney has also recently come under fire from right-wing quarters for committing to be more LGBTQ inclusive in its content.
In South Africa, singer Steve Hofmeyr has been taken to the Equality Court for queerphobic comments he made on social media. These included claims that the LGBTQ community supports the “grooming” of children and that Disney plans to teach children “how to have sex with mice, ducks and dogs”.