Well, did you have Peppa Pig being an enemy of Italian conservative politics on your 2022 bingo card? Didn’t think so, but here we are. The long-standing children’s cartoon featured a lesbian polar bear couple in an episode called “Families” last week on the U.K.’s Channel 5. It immediately sent Italian conservatives into a tizzy.
'Peppa Pig' introduces lesbian couple on latest episode:
“I live with my mummy and my other mummy. One mummy is a doctor and one mummy cooks spaghetti. I love spaghetti.” pic.twitter.com/3coxIzbvaV
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) September 7, 2022
In the episode, a character named Penny states “I live with my mummy and my other mummy. One mummy is a doctor and one mummy cooks spaghetti.” The family then sat down for a meal together. Pretty wholesome television there, right?.
Of course, Italian conservatives thought otherwise. One in particular, Federico Mollicone, Brothers of Italy’s culture spokesperson, stated that broadcasting the episode within Italy would be *checks notes* “unacceptable”.
In an interview for the Italian publication La Stampa, Mollicone stated, “We cannot accept gender indoctrination. Once again the politically correct has struck, at the expense of our children. Can’t children just be children?”.
Mollicone continued with, “We ask Rai, which buys the rights to the Peppa Pig series in Italy with a fee from all Italians, not to broadcast the episode in question on any channel or web platform”. Rai, an Italian national public broadcast company, is expected to showcase the episode, but the scheduled date is still unclear.
Peppa Pig has been broadcasting now for 18 years. Created by British animators Neville Astley and Mark Baker, the show moved forward with featuring a same-sex couple, after an online petition was formed. And while the push for inclusion was made and accomplished, it seems that the Brothers of Italy, the far-right Italian political party, has other thoughts on this accomplishment.
Various cartoons are leading the charge in diversifying their cast with more LGBTQ characters. Shows such as Steven Universe, Arthur, Adventure Time, My Little Pony, and more have featured queer and/or trans characters in a positive way.
LGBTQ youth deserve representation and in these fantastical shows, not only do they receive it, but non-LGBTQ youth gain exposure to topics of gender and sexuality that they may not receive in class or at home.
Everyone wins when quality representation is promoted, but Brothers of Italy seemed to have dismissed that altogether. The episode has already broadcasted throughout the U.K. Now, we wait and see if Rai will follow suit, in spite of Brothers of Italy’s requests.