This Peppa Pig episode depicts sick doll as black, and I don’t think it’s ok
My kid will soon be four years old. It may sound ironic, but unlike many of his friends, he is still not much into smartphones. Well, let’s just say we somehow managed to keep him away from any kind of gadgets, except of course, TV.
He never liked the usual TV cartoon channels like Cartoon TV and all. That stuff just never caught his attention. Then one day, through Google Chromecast, I played a poem from a popular kids YouTube channel ChuChu TV, and he enjoyed it a lot.
And that’s how his YouTube journey began. First it was ChuChu TV, then came Dave and Eva, followed by Little Baby Bum and Kiki Miumiu, and finally these days, he’s hooked on to Peppa Pig.
Since many a times I watch these poems with him, I noticed how careful and responsible these channels are when it comes to equality in representation of different races. Like if you take the example of Dave and Eva, you’ll see the character of the female guardian is a black lady, while the male is white.
This, I always felt, helps kids understand from very early age that people of different colors exist, and are as normal as others you see around in your family and social circle.
But yesterday, I noticed something odd. Since my kid now watches Peppa Pig (let me admit, even I like these characters, especially daddy pig), he was watching a show titled Peppa Pig 2017 English The doll hospital.
The show begins with Peppa, his little brother George, and Peppa’s friend Suzie playing with toys in garden. While playing, Peppa slips and falls on his teddy. Then Suzie suggests to take the teddy to a doll hospital.
At the doll hospital, the nurse/attendant joyfully attends Peppa and others, and explains what happens at the hospital. It’s at this point I observed the oddity. The attendant/nurse says, at doll hospital, they turn dolls like this (shows a dark colored, shabby looking doll) into dolls like this (a fair, clean doll).
Now my question is, why was there a need to depict a shabby looking “sick” doll as dark colored? They could have easily kept the same skin tone, while showing the doll on left as a bit shabby, sick, out of service, or whatever.
To many, I know I may across as someone who is nitpicking here. But I genuinely felt like if representing sickness with dark skin color becomes the new normal, then kids – with most of them spending a lot of time on tech platforms like YouTube – may well start judging people like this in real life.
I know this is most likely an oversight from the company behind the Peppa Pig cartoon, but I feel it’s serious enough to be highlighted and brought into their notice. What do you say? Let me know your thoughts on the matter in the comments section below.
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