“Peppa Pig,” the popular and long-running British animated children’s show that airs on Nick Jr. in the U.S., has introduced a same-sex couple as parents on the series.
Penny Polar Bear is Peppa Pig’s classmate. In a short scene during a recent episode entitled “Families,” which aired on Sept. 6 on Channel 5 in the U.K. Penny talked about her parents as she drew a picture of her family eating dinner.
“I’m Penny Polar Bear,” Penny said in the clip, which you can view in this TikTok video. “I live with my mommy and my other mommy. One mommy is a doctor, and one mommy cooks spaghetti. I love spaghetti.”
@randombitz4u #penny #pennypolarbear #pennypolar #fyp #peppa #peppapig #foryou #foryourpage â¬ original sound – S W D
A petition was launched in 2019 asking the show’s writers to include a same-sex parent family.
“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,” read the petition, which garnered nearly 24,000 signatures. “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.”
Doctor Polar Bear, one of Penny’s parents, appeared on two previous episodes of “Peppa Pig” in 2021. In the episode “Health Check” (season 7, episode 21), Mummy Pig takes Peppa to see Dr. Polar Bear for her yearly health checkup. And in “Undersea Party” (season 7, episode 28), Penny Polar Bear shows up for Goldie’s (Peppa’s pet fish) party with Mummy Polar Bear and Dr. Polar Bear in tow. However, no mention is made of the bears’ relationship at that time.
“Peppa Pig” has been criticized in the past for being “out of date” by reinforcing gender-specific representation and stereotypes, including its depiction of a traditional nuclear family in which dad works and mom takes care of the kids.
In 2019, however, the show made steps toward inclusivity by introducing Mandy Mouse, who uses a wheelchair. Peppa’s teacher describes Mandy as a visitor in this clip shared on Twitter.
Squeak! Introducing the newest member of the playgroup, Mandy Mouse! pic.twitter.com/cwMy8vFuVS
— Peppa Pig Official (@peppapig) April 3, 2019
“Peppa Pig,” which debuted in 2004, is broadcast in 180 countries and translated into 40 languages. It airs in the U.S. in blocks that place a number of the short, 5-minute episodes together and is available streaming online at Paramount+ as well as on Amazon Prime and Roku. The show’s run in the U.S. lags a bit behind the British broadcasts.
The first “Peppa Pig” theme park opened in February next to Legoland, located near Orlando, Florida.