The London Fire Brigade (LFB) called out the show, which has over 7.6 million subscribers on YouTube, following an episode titled “Fire Engine” in which the narrator begins by saying, “Mummy Pig is dressed as a fireman.” According to the LFB, the politically correct term would be “firefighter.”
“Come on [Peppa Pig], we’ve not been firemen for 30 years,” the LFB tweeted on March 17. “You have a huge influence on kids & using out of date stereotypical gender specific wording prevents young girls from becoming firefighters.”
However, many people on Twitter disagree with the accusation, pointing out that all of the firefighters portrayed in the show are female. “You say calling her a fireman puts girls off, yet they see her, not a male, fighting fires,” argued one user.
Another fan defended the show by saying, “You know what I’d do if my little girl said she didn’t think women can be firefighters? I’d tell her they could, because I don’t need Peppa Pig to parent for me.”
But the LFB stands by its claim as part of its #FirefightingSexism campaign. A spokesperson for the organization told CNN, “We need to challenge outdated language that our research is showing is stopping young girls and women from considering firefighting as a rewarding and professional career.”
They added that “children’s cartoons make a huge impression on young people and it’s time for all media to treat us with respect and call us firefighters what we have been for the past 30 years.”
Come on @peppapig, we’ve not been firemen for 30 years. You have a huge influence on kids & using out of date stereotypical gender specific wording prevents young girls from becoming firefighters. Join our #Firefightingsexism campaign https://t.co/IRjLtqolEl
— London Fire Brigade (@LondonFire) March 17, 2019