Through the Looking Glass With Future Capitalist Peppa Pig

Graphic: Joan Summers (PNGio)

Like many, I was in awe of the way Peppa Pig revolutionized children’s entertainment with the release of her critically acclaimed My First Album. In a year besieged by the darkest forces in the universe, an animated pig singing her “Bing Bong Zoo” song was a welcome reprieve. Unfortunately, the purest of things are often the most easily corrupted, and Peppa Pig would slowly be consumed by the trappings of her success. A dark wind was blowing the day she released My First Album. I only wish we’d been paying attention long enough to notice it.

Unlike most pigs her age, Peppa’s massive fame allowed her entrance into the circles of power shared by kings, spiritual leaders, and syndicated talk show hosts. As a beloved British treasure, she was knighted by the Queen of England in early July. Palace tipsters alleged that at the ceremonial dinner she scolded the Queen for Britain’s harsh judgement of Meghan Markle.

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The following week, she helped revive the Oprah Winfrey Show with a special appearance alongside Barbra Streisand. Moved by the young pig’s talent, Streisand spent the hour singing a medley of Peppa’s hits.

Screenshot: The Oprah Winfrey Show (YouTube)

Entertainment One Ltd., the studio financing Peppa Pig’s creative endeavors, saw a huge increase in stock prices after the Oprah Winfrey Show aired the special. Not only was she in control of our hearts and minds, the financial sphere soon found itself wrapped around her strangely drawn fingers. Later that month, the New York Stock Exchange invited Peppa to open the day’s trading with the ceremonial ringing of the opening bell. One trader told me, “She’s a pig and she’s opening the stock exchange! What a weird world!”

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Her merchandize sales skyrocketed in the days that followed. Children everywhere begged their parents for a limited edition Peppa Pig x Hanes red t-shirts, while adults opted for her Supreme collaboration. Over on YouTube, Peppa broke 9.5 million subscribers. As such, it was announced last week that she would be replacing Mark Cuban as the new star of ABC’s Shark Tank. In a statement, a spokesperson for Peppa claimed:

Peppa Pig is so excited to join ABC’s Shark Tank. It’s an incredible opportunity to show that even children can fulfill their dreams as venture capitalists. She’ll be on the lookout for smart, engaging avenues in children’s media and retail, with a focus on fashion brands that come with cartoon animal sizing.

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A rep for ABC told the press, “We couldn’t be happier.”

Image: Shark Tank (ABC)
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The dark wind that blew the day she released My First Album finally returned this morning and woke me from my sleep. My phone buzzed with a push notification from Fortune, “Hasbro to Buy Peppa Pig Studio for $4 Billion.” According to the outlet:

The toymaker will pay 5.60 pounds per share in cash, 26% more than Thursday’s closing price. Entertainment One shares surged as high as 5.79 pounds, indicating some investors may hold off for a sweeter bid for the company, which also makes movies and music. [...] The deal, which would be Hasbro’s largest, marks a major expansion of the toymaker’s media efforts. It also raises the prospect that a rival bid could emerge, as competition heats up for content producers amid the growth in video-streaming.

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Under the deal, Hasbro would gain access to Peppa Pig’s archive of work, as well as “scripted and unscripted TV production and development capabilities.” The outlet remained silent on Peppa’s involvement in the deal, but New York City was abuzz with claims she was integral to securing Hasbro’s bid. Rumors are swirling in elite Big Pig Finance circles that the singer personally called the CEO of Hasbro and calmly informed him she wouldn’t get out of bed for more than $4 billion.

It’s unclear what Peppa’s next move will be. Some claim she’s eyeing a potential run for Senate in 2045, when she’ll finally be old enough to legally hold the office. She could also start her own television network. With a Youtube channel that regularly draws tens of millions of viewers (and an astronomical amount of advertising revenue), the move would line up with Hasbro’s vision of expanding their video-streaming efforts. What is known is that the Peppa Pig we first fell in love with is gone and capitalism killed her. The pig that stands before us now is a cunning, ruthless capitalist with powerful friends and $4 billion in the bank. I’m reminded of the first song from My First Album, “It’s Peppa Pig.” Once a beautiful exploration of family and self discovery, it’s now a heartbreaking dirge on the perils of capitalism and greed:

I live in a yellow house on a hill and who could ask for more?

I have a teddy and we have a fish, and George has a dinosaur!

With Daddy Pig and Mommy Pig, we learn and we explore

We’re happy as can be, in our family

Who could ask for more indeed.

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