London Fire Brigade call out Peppa Pig for sexism

The popular cartoon “Peppa Pig” aired an episode called “The Fire Engine” which referred to firefighters as firemen, much to the dismay of the London Fire Brigade.

Victoria Wystepek
Victoria Wystepek NewsMavens, Europe
London Fire Brigade call out Peppa Pig for sexism - NewsMavens
Peppa Pig, Wikimedia Commons

Why this story matters:

After the cartoon aired, the London Fire Brigade issued the following tweet with the hashtag #Firefightingsexism.

The popular show airs in 180 countries and is beloved among preschool aged children. The London Fire Brigade criticized the show for using a stereotyped description for a firefighter, especially on a show with so much influence on children.

A spokesperson for the LFB stated, “It was widely reported that a four-year-old named Esme came home and said she couldn’t be a firefighter because she was a girl. This shows that children’s cartoons make a huge impression on young people and it’s time for all media to treat us with respect…” 

Women only represent about 5% of firefighters in England and Scotland and about 3% in Norther Ireland. By bringing light to problematic stereotypes about firefighters, the London Fire Brigade hopes to bring awareness to firefighting as a respected and rewarding career for women.

Details from the story:

  • The LFB also criticized popular cartoon character Fireman Sam for devaluing women’s roles as firefighters. It praised Barbie for producing a firefighter doll for the brand’s 60th birthday.
  • TV personality Piers Morgan chimed into the controversy, tweeting, “If women are being ‘put off’ joining the fire service because Fireman Sam -- A CARTOON CHARACTER -- supposedly ‘perpetuates male stereotypes’ then can I politely suggest these women probably don’t have what it takes to fight fires.”
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