Parents in the U.K. are currently upset with the BBC over its new live-action children's program Topsy and Tim and the tired way the show portrays gender roles. Based on a popular children's book series of the same name, Topsy and Tim tells the story of an adventurous brother and sister who are always finding their way into silly situations. While the beloved series originated in the '60s, many parents were hoping that the new, modernized adaptation would also modernize in the way that the plot treats its boy and girl characters. Unfortunately, they were disappointed.
Since the first episode — which featured Topsy inside baking while her twin Tim went outside to play — aired on November 10, parents have taken to blogs to complain.
From The Telegraph:
Thousands have taken to Mumsnet to express their opposition to the show, accusing programme makers of ruining their fond memories of the book.
One parent, using the name DoubleLifeIsALifeOfSort, wrote: "It's flabbergastingly sexist - I was so disappointed.
"Mummy and Topsy do the washing while Tim helps daddy with the man's work.
"Topsy is inside making cakes and Tim gets told they're not for him and he must go outside and play with the quad bike.
"I can't let my three-and-a-half-year-old watch it, he already thinks girls can't do stuff that boys can."
The BBC has ordered 60-total episodes of the show and promises that it will get better:
"We're very pleased to be able to bring the Topsy and Tim stories alive for our young viewers to enjoy. It's very early in the series and all of the characters develop over the coming episodes – after the near-disastrous playdate in the programme in question, we see how the children learn to mix up their friends and choice of games, finding that it's much more fun if they all play together. Throughout the series we will also see so-called 'traditional' boy/girl preferences inverted, but always driven by the children's emotional journeys as they mature as individuals and face the timeless milestones of childhood such as learning to ride bikes, getting their first pet and starting school. We hope our young viewers will enjoy going on those exciting journeys with Topsy and Tim."
Alright, good luck with that!
BBC accused of sexism over new children's show Topsy and Tim [The Telegraph]