The award-winning children’s show Peppa Pig has introduced the programme’s first-ever same-sex couple in an episode titled Families.
In the episode, the children are at playgroup and are asked to draw pictures of their families. After drawing a picture of herself with two female polar bears, the character of Penny the Polar Bear explains to Peppa, Suzi Sheep, and Danny Dog that she has “two mummies”.
“I live with my mummy and my other mummy. One mummy is a doctor and one mummy cooks spaghetti. I love spaghetti.”
Although the show has been running for 18 years and has aired nearly 400 episodes it has never before featured any openly LGBTQ+ characters. However, rumours have surrounded the show’s lead character’s sexuality after she gained the status of LGBTQ+ icon in 2019 when she released her first album aptly titled My First Album.
Prompted by these rumours, an online petition was created calling on the show’s makers to introduce LGBTQ+ representation. It managed to garner over 1,700 signatures.
Really nice to see age appropriate representation of same sex couples on @peppapig with Penny & her two mummies. We are loving "One mummy is a doctor and one mummy cooks spaghetti. I love spaghetti." #PrimaryRocks #WomenEd #LesbianVisibility #DiverseEd https://t.co/EuZPdDcUDK
— Safe Schools Alliance (@SafeSchools_UK) September 7, 2022
The creators of the petition, Beth G and Lacey K, wrote, “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.”
They 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.”
As the show is already known to have a direct impact on preschool children’s learning, it is hoped that the introduction of the two new polar bear mummies will expand the show’s messages of diversity and help to teach children about inclusion and acceptance.
As Beth G and Lacey K put it, “Peppa Pig is not just for entertainment, children are inevitably learning from it too.”
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