Rastamouse sparks complaints of racism and teaching bad language

February 13th, 2011 - 5:05 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Feb 13 (ANI): He is an animated reggae-singing mouse that has become a hit for the BBC, entertaining kids with his attempts to fight crime and spread love and respect.

However, Rastamouse is provoking complaints from parents who fear the show is racist and encouraging the use of slang, reports the Telegraph.

Mothers on online parenting forums have even raised fears that the programme could result in playground fights if children try to copy the mouse.

One mother on the Mumsnet forum, using the name TinyD4ncer, said she was concerned her child would be attacked for repeating some of the Jamaican Patois phrases used by the mouse.

“The thing I’m most worried about is her saying the words like ‘Rasta’ and going up to a child and saying (these) things … my child is white and I feel if she was to say this to another child who was not white that it would be seen as her insulting the other child,” she said.

“Just watched a couple videos.. i’m going to say it is racist,” said another parent on Bumpandbaby.com.

A blogger on musicmagazine website has described the show as ‘a mildly racist take on Rastafarians in the form of a cute mouse’.

The BBC has received complaints from six viewers saying that the animated show stereotypes black people, while another 95 have complained about the language used in the show.

The Rastafarian mouse, who leads a band called the Easy Crew and speaks in Jamaican Patois, uses phrases such as ‘me wan go’ (’I want to go’), ‘irie’ (’happy’), ‘wagwan’ (’what’s going on?’).

His mission is to ‘make a bad ting good’.

The show has proved to be very popular since it was launched on CBeebies last month, and has been praised for being funny and educational at the same time.

“The Rastamouse books are written in Afro-Caribbean Patois rhyme and this authentic voice has been transferred to the TV series to retain its heart, integrity and distinctive quality,” said a BBC spokesman. (ANI)

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