Et tu, PAW Patrol? Much to the distress of parents across the United States, it appears that even the PAW Patrol universe has gone woke. A recent episode of Rubble & Crew, a spin-off of the wildly popular series, features a nonbinary character, River — who appears just to be a tomboy.
You probably wouldn’t know unless you squinted at the character’s socks, which are blue and pink, reminiscent of the transgender flag; evidently, the character’s identity is not explicitly mentioned. But Lindz Amer, creator of Queer Kid Stuff and writer of the episode, bragged on Instagram about consulting on the character.
“I wanted to write a nonbinary character that was aspirational and incredibly cool, someone for the pups (and kids at home) to look up to,” Amer wrote . “They found an awesome non-binary actor to voice River, and I’m so so happy about how it turned out.”
Amer’s Queer Kid Stuff is exactly what it sounds like: a project to provide “LGBTQ+ family edutainment” and indoctrinate young children with queer theory.
According to a writer at Them, an LGBT website owned by Condé Nast, the Rubble & Crew character is so “subtly coded” that the outrage is overblown.
Of course, the writers at leftist media outlets would think the outrage was overblown anyway, but even if children won’t notice what this character is meant to represent, the intention still matters.
The Rubble & Crew episode may not seem like a big deal; it may not seem like much that Disney subtly introduced its “first nonbinary character” in a Pixar film earlier this year or that a character in a transgender flag shirt waves around a box of tampons in a Disney show from 2022.
Will children notice these things? Probably not. Will Disney and other companies get the chance to virtue-signal about their progressiveness (even though real progressives aren’t buying it )? For sure.
But as blink-and-you’ll-miss-it as these scenes may be, what they really mean is that companies responsible for the most popular children’s content are testing the waters. When a “nonbinary” character appears in another children’s show, what will the reaction be? Will the applause drown out the boos?
Transgender and nonbinary characters seem to be everywhere these days, in shows from Blue’s Clues and Transformers: EarthSpark to Netflix’s Ridley Jones , whose target audience is 4-year-olds. Rubble & Crew may be new — its first episode aired in February — but its progenitor “has been the most-watched show for kids ages two to five since 2016” in the U.S., according to Paramount.
If Rubble & Crew’s creators can slip a nonbinary character into the show, maybe they can do the same with Paw Patrol, and this time, she’ll be doing more than wearing pink and blue socks. Maybe, as in the case of Ridley Jones, she’ll spend an entire episode teaching preschoolers how to come out as nonbinary.
It may sound alarmist, but if you’ve spent any time watching children’s content in the past few years, you’ll be painfully aware that it’s true: Creators are trying to find out if they can incrementally spread gender and sexuality-themed agitprop and get away with it. The mandate for parents is clear: Don’t let them.