News & Commentary State United Kingdom

Too many white, male trains in ‘Thomas The Tank Engine’, program introduces gender-balanced and multicultural trains.

According to HuffPost, popular children’s television show Thomas The Tank Engine has capitulated to “years of accusations of sexism, racism and classism,” by introducing “inclusive gender-balanced and multicultural characters.”

The program, now in its 73rd year, is set to feature Isla, an Australian Flying Doctor; Noor Jehan, a royal express engine from India; Hong-Mei, A Number 1 Blue Tank Engine from China, and Churubala, a female railway controller from India.

“Thomas will also leave the island of Sodor to meet new trains, as part of a bid to expand the series’ global appeal and promote ‘sustainable development goals‘ in partnership with the United Nations,” HuffPost said.

Senior Producer Ian McCue said, “The changes and new additions of characters and geographies will make the show more entertaining, inclusive and global…”

Claire Chambers, the granddaughter of Reverend Wilbert Awdry, creator of the series said, “If the gender-balanced Stream Team encourages more girls to maintain an interest then that can only be a good thing.”


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