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Ellie Hutchings

American parents are banning their kids from watching Peppa Pig - here's why the popular cartoon has ruffled feathers across the pond (and you might agree)

Peppa Pig and her family.

American parents have a bone to pick with Peppa Pig, accusing the cartoon of being a bad influence on their kids. But British fans are pushing back - whose side are you on?

Peppa Pig is considered to be a national treasure by many in the UK. Since the cartoon first aired on Channel 5 20 years ago, it's gone on to be broadcast in over 180 countries and has aired in 40 different languages - so it's no surprise that Peppa Pig toys are so popular.

However, the much-loved kids' show has now made its way across the pond, and American parents are sharing their reasons why Peppa Pig is the worst. Because, unlike the popularity of Bluey - the Australian cartoon which is loved by parents for its depiction of good habits - anthropomorphic pig Peppa has been accused of fat-shaming, bullying and rudeness.

The Wall Street Journal recently spoke to Armita Asgari, mum to five-year-old Luca, who labelled Peppa Pig a 'brat'. She noticed some behaviours in her son she believes he picked up from Peppa, such as approaching their neighbour and saying "Look, David's got a big tummy!" She also said that when Luca tried new foods he didn't like he would say 'Ew!' and 'Yuck!'

And Armita is not the only parent who disapproves of Peppa Pig. One user said on X (formerly Twitter): "So happy we are discussing what a terrible role model Peppa Pig is. She’s rude & a total brat — & she never gets called out for it on the show. She’s a selfish, body-shaming bully. And she gets away with it."

Another said: "Peppa Pig is an atrocious role model. Spoiled, moody. Never says please or thank you. A brat quite frankly."

Meanwhile, American 'momfluencer' Kayla Tychen recently spoke to TalkTV about why she won't let her children watch Peppa Pig. She described Peppa as "rude and disrespectful and [she] makes fun of people", explaining that in her home "we make sure that the characters that are portrayed in the shows that [our children] watch are kind and respectful, that they're compassionate and empathetic."

However, other parents have gone on to show their support for the cartoon. Lauran Betensky, mother to three-year-old Klara, told The Wall Street Journal that her daughter adores the show. Lauran said, "She’s a little piggy that knows what she wants. That’s a good quality for a little girl."

And father of five Taylor Ellsworth said that he likes to watch the show with his children, adding that the way the series displays "innate human reactions to things" is "very valuable for kids."

Meanwhile, Hasboro - the company that owns Peppa Pig - said that they are aware of the backlash the show has received and that they have tried to 'evolve' the series. Esra Cafer, Hasbro’s senior vice president, said: "Peppa has natural, authentic reactions to the world, and has the ability to express how she feels."

She added, "Some parents may see it as too direct or rude. We see it as self-assertive and self-confident."

(Image credit: Alamy)

And some devoted Brits are pushing back on the criticism too, with one X user writing on the platform, "As a dad of little kids, my role model is (Peppa's) Daddy Pig. Every day I wish I had dude's patience and ingenuity to make things work. I'm ripping the little hair I have left here..."

Another said, "If you don't like it then don't watch it, there's lots of other kids channels out there with shows like Bluey and Fireman Sam or SpongeBob SquarePants."

But not everyone this side of the Atlantic agrees. UK child behaviourist Sophie Boucher-Giles previously told the Daily Mail that she does not watch Peppa Pig in her own home because she views the cartoon as "problematic". She added that the kids' TV show "reinforces some unhelpful stereotypes and some of the language isn't nice."

Sophie went on to say: "Peppa is really kind of aimed at the pre-school age group. They are at a very impressionable age and why at a very impressionable age are we filling them up with very questionable messages about gender equality and behaviour?"

Whether you choose to let your child watch Peppa Pig or not, that's a choice for parents to make and we're not here to judge - there's a reason why it's so popular!

Peppa Pig is available to watch on My5 and selected streaming services, including Netflix, Disney+, NOW and Paramount+.

Fans of the kid's cartoon might also want to check out Emma Bridgewater's new Peppa Pig collection. For other children's TV and film recommendations, here are 15 ways Netflix’s Leo tackles the anxieties of modern parenting. We've also revealed the Madame Web age rating and the Avatar: The Last Airbender age rating - so you know if they're suitable to watch with your little one.

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