PAW Patrol Faces Backlash After Supporting Black Voices amid Protests About Police Brutality
A June 2 post on official PAW Patrol social media said the show would be "muting our content until June 7th to give access for Black voices to be heard"
One week after the killing of George Floyd at the hands of a white police officer, the show tweeted "in solidarity of #amplifymelanatedvoices," promising to "[mute] our content until June 7th to give access for Black voices to be heard so we can continue to listen and further our learning."
The June 2 post drew a number of critical and positive responses alike, with one of the former comments going so far as to accuse those behind the Nick. Jr preschool-age series of "brainwash[ing] a bunch of kids into thinking law enforcement is a noble and just profession."
Nick Jr. has not yet responded to PEOPLE's request for comment.
While it's unclear exactly which tweets are "jokes" and which are not, "Abolish Chase" and "Fire the cop dog" read two others, referring to one of the main canine characters on the show, who is a German shepherd police officer.
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"Perhaps naming your main character police dog 'chase' is a bit tone deaf to the suffering of people who have actually been on the receiving end of dogs used as weapons by the police," one user replied. "My 3 year old calls his stuffed Chase 'Jace.' "
Other users lauded the show, however, for their original tweet and defended them in their responses, like one who wrote in part, "It's a children's show! It teaches [kids] to always lend a hand no matter who needs it. Stop making everything political and just be parents. Treat others the way you want to be treated."
"A bunch of horrible people in these comments! You shame the human race. Chase should be the standard for a cop to follow, he's a good dog," another tweet read.
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PAW Patrol follows eight pups — Chase, Marshall, Rubble, Skye, Rocky, Zuma, Everest and Tracker — as they perform rescue missions and go on adventures in their appropriately named city Adventure Bay.
The series' latest big project is a movie slated for an August 2021 release. News about the film came in February, as the show was picked up for an eighth season — and continues to be a favorite in homes across the world.
"We are thrilled to partner with Paramount and Nickelodeon to bring the 'PAW Patrol' franchise, and the characters that children love, to the big screen," Spin Master Entertainment's EVP Jennifer Dodge said at the time, in a statement obtained by Deadline.
To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:
- Campaign Zero (joincampaignzero.org) which works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.
- ColorofChange.org works to make government more responsive to racial disparities.
- National Cares Mentoring Movement (caresmentoring.org) provides social and academic support to help black youth succeed in college and beyond.