Thomas the Tank Engine wearing a Ku Klux Klan hood is one of the more bizarre images you’re likely to see today — if you haven’t already seen Dr. Phil performing with Good Charlotte.
On the NRA TV show “Relentless”, host Dana Loesch blasted “Thomas & Friends” for partnering with the United Nations to increase diversity on the popular children’s cartoon.
The new season will see Thomas travelling the globe and meeting a new cast of characters from different locales. One of those characters is Nia — a female train from Kenya whose engine is painted in an African-inspired pattern — who was first introduced in last month’s “Big World! Big Adventures!” movie.
“They’ve decided that the next stop is virtue town,” Loesch said of the program. “Thomas the Tank is now bringing gender bounds to the show by adding girl trains. Seriously.”
According to the UN’s website, the partnership aims to “teach children the importance of taking part in the global efforts to end poverty, providing girls and boys with the same opportunities, and of course doing so while protecting our planet.”
Loesch, however, sees the partnership as the end of times. “This is horrible,” she stated. “That’s where it gets really strange to me. Am I to understand this entire time that Thomas and his trains were white? Because they all have grey faces. How do you bring ethnic diversity?”
“They had to paint what I guess is some African pattern on the side of Nia’s engine? How do you bring ethnic diversity to a show that literally has no ethnicities… because they’re trains? They don’t even have skin pigmentation!”
In an attempt to hammer home her point, Loesch then imagined “Thomas & Friends” must have a racist past, and showed a Photoshopped image of the cartoon trains wearing KKK hoods as the world burned behind them.
Mattel, who owns the “Thomas the Tank Engine” brand, released a statement after the images aired, writing: “We are not associated with images that promote hate and denounce any images of our brands that are being used to convey a message not in line with the values of the company.” (via CNN)
The 22nd season of “Thomas & Friends” is set to premiere September 17.