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'Where are the disabled, queer, poor dogs?': Aussie kids TV show under fire for lack of diversity

Newshub logo Newshub 15/04/2021 Tayla Marriner
a close up of a toy: Cartoon Bluey follows the lives of Bluey the blue heeler puppy and her family. © ABC Cartoon Bluey follows the lives of Bluey the blue heeler puppy and her family.


Bluey has come under fire for a lack of diversity among its characters from a staffer at the same network that produces the popular Australian children's TV series.

In a polarising online article, ABC broadcaster Beverley Wang argued kids' cartoon Bluey - which follows the lives of Bluey the blue heeler puppy and her family - could be more representative of minorities.

"Where are the disabled, queer, poor, gender diverse, dogs of colour and single-parent dog families in Bluey's Brisbane?" she said. "If they're in the background, let them come forward."

While she understands that "for the most-part Bluey's creators don't view their show through a political lense", Wang says as a parent of colour she's "always conscious of the presence - or absence - of diverse representation in kids' pop culture".

"We live in a world where the majority of main characters on children's television are white; where there are more animals than people of colour protagonists populating the pages of children's books," she wrote in the piece. 

Bluey is an award-winning programme beloved by parents and children that has been praised for its depiction of modern-day families.

Wang's critique of the show has divided fans on Twitter, with some readers accusing her of politicising a TV series aimed at kids.

"These people are obsessed with pushing their unhinged ideology onto two-year children," one Twitter user wrote.

"It’s a cartoon! What’s next?" asked another.

But not everyone is up in arms about the article. Some suggest it's a topic that deserves attention and needs to be addressed.

"It would mean a lot to see some gender diverse representation on Bluey, trans kids watch Bluey too," said one.

"It’s a very respectful and thoughtful take, and the point on diversity is well made (and also a point many of us parents have discussed)," another added.

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