Earlier this week, the popular British preschool cartoon Peppa Pig, which airs on Nick Jr., introduced a same-sex couple to its young audience, a first in the program’s 18-year history.
In an episode of the Hasbro owned show titled “Families,” the character Penny Polar Bear shared with her classmates that her parents are two moms.
“I’m Penny Polar Bear. I live with my mommy and my other mommy,” Penny said while showing a hand drawn portrait of her family. Penny told the class, “One mommy is a doctor and one mommy cooks spaghetti. I love spaghetti.”
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The children’s show, which is broadcasted in over 180 countries, may have been influenced to include the same-sex parental polar bears by a 2019 petition that fell short of its 25,000 signature goal but demanded that Peppa Pig writers include a same-sex parent family on the show.
“Peppa Pig is one of the most popular TV shows for young children and has won numerous British Academy Children’s Awards. The show features Peppa Pig and her family, and various families of other animals they are friends with,” the petition said.
Petitioners took issue with the show not featuring a same-sex family in any of the 250-plus episodes that had aired at the time.
“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 continued. “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.”
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Before asking for supporters signatures, the petition claimed that “Peppa Pig is not just for entertainment, children are inevitably learning from it too.”
This isn’t the first time the polar bear characters have made an appearance on the animated series. The two polar bears made a brief appearance together when they dropped off Penny for a birthday party, but nothing was referenced regarding their relationship at the time.