Ed Balls discusses the same-sex couple in Peppa Pig with hosts. (Good Morning Britain/ITV)
Viewers have criticised Good Morning Britain over its “uncomfortable” discussion on Peppa Pig’s inclusion of a same-sex couple.
Hosts of the morning talk show Susanna Reid, Ed Balls, and Richard Arnold briefly discussed the addition of the same-sex couple to the children’s TV show on a Wednesday (7 September) broadcast.
After Arnold reported that the character Penny Polar Bear revealed she had two mums, an arguably awkward conversation commenced where Balls repeatedly asked Arnold whether the character Daddy Pig was still in the show.
As the conversation came to a close, with Arnold reassuring Balls that the same-sex couple were not Peppa Pig’s parents, social media users pointed out just how teeth-grindingly unpleasant they found the segment.
“[Ed Balls] coming across uncomfortable when talking about same-sex couples!” one user said. “I found that really hard to watch.”
Another said: “The lukewarm response and uncomfortableness when discussing same-sex couples as part of children’s TV was disappointing. Especially as my daughter aged nine who has two mums sat watching.”
Anti-LGBTQ+ viewers jumped at the chance to lambast the mere concept of educating youths on the existence of LGBTQ+ identities, saying that it was destroying childhoods and that two fictional gay polar bears would annihilate society as we know it.
But there were still plenty of valiant viewers ready to jump in and defend the simple, yet profound, love of two gay animated polar bears and the importance of the representation they bring.
“what’s wrong with same-sex couples on a kids show?” one user said. “Whether homophobes like it or not, there are many same-sex parents, whose children want to see families like theirs represented. It’s not ‘promoting’ same-sex relationships, it’s just acknowledging their existence.”
Another pointed out that Susanna Reid was correct in her claim that same-sex penguin couples exist in the wild and in enclosures. In fact, same-sex couples are incredible common with Humboldt penguins, including adorable penguin couple Diego and Zorro from the Oceanarium in Dorset.
The two male penguins adopted a surrogate chick this year, which hatched on 12 May. Keeper Kat Nicola said she decided to give the couple a fertilised egg after they successfully incubated a dummy egg.
“It has been Diego and Zorro’s second time fostering and once again they have smashed it, becoming quite the experts at parenting,” she said.
“The penguins are free to choose who they want to spend quality time with and in their case, they chose each other,” she continued. “The well-being and nurture of these animals is our number one priority and therefore we encourage the penguins to make their own decisions when it comes to choosing their mates.”