And so it is more than a little alarming to read that the eponymous character of the British children’s cartoon is a propaganda tool.
In an angry denunciation of the Australian public broadcaster ABC and its “leftwing agenda”, the Sydney Daily Telegraph columnist Piers Ackerman rounds up his evidence with this: “Even the cartoon character Peppa Pig pushes a weird feminist line that would be closer to the hearts of Labor’s Handbag Hit Squad than the pre-school audience it is aimed at.”
Yikes. Disappointingly Akerman does not detail Peppa’s perversions. Annabel Crabb seeks to help out in the Sydney Morning Herald, enumerating clues to the pig’s subversive character:
Peppa’s ungirlish love of puddle-jumping, her casual insubordination to her father (“Oh dear. Daddy Pig is too fat to squeeze into the cubby house!”), and the sinister presence of Miss Rabbit, who has about a hundred jobs, is unmarried, and sometimes babysits for her sister, Mrs Rabbit.
The Guardian Australia blogger Alex McClintock collects yet more evidence of brainwashing: the teacher Madame Gazelle performing in “an all-female rock group”, the “constant references to cycling” and the blatant promotion of multiculturalism, “with foxes and rabbits portrayed as neighbours”.
And, worst of all, the creation of a world in which “men and women are equals and can even be friends. Ms Pig’s mother even has a job.”
Crabb notes that the pig has a lot of influence in Australia, with more than 25 million digital views in 2013. Which, she says, is “impressive, even when you factor in the possibility that several million of those might have been Mr Akerman, monitoring the cartoon piglet round the clock for signs of latent man-hate”.