Rubble & Crew, a spinoff of the popular animated series Paw Patrol, has found itself embroiled in a controversy labeled as “woke” by conservatives due to its introduction of a non-binary character in one of its episodes.
A Non-binary Author
Lindz Amer, a non-binary author and LGBTQ+ activist, is the creator behind this character named River, and they have faced criticism from American right-wing critics.
Founder of ‘Queer Kids Stuff’
Lindz Amer is widely known as the founder of the LGBTQ+ web series titled “Queer Kid Stuff,” which they established in 2016.
Spreading Awareness to Children
This educational web series has gained significant traction, amassing around 4 million views, and aims to spread awareness about the LGBTQ+ community among children.
It also strives to bring queer media into mainstream family entertainment.
Author and Podcaster
In addition to their web series, Lindz Amer has authored a book titled “Rainbow Parenting: Raising Queer Kids and Their Allies” and hosts the podcast “Rainbow Parenting.”
Picture Books Are Coming Next Year
Furthermore, Lindz Amer is set to make their debut in the world of picture books with “Hooray for She, He, Ze, and They!” scheduled for publication by Simon & Schuster in February of the coming year.
They’ve Gained Major Recognition
Their work and advocacy have earned recognition in major publications such as Kidscreen, Teen Vogue, Shondaland, NBCOut, Parents Magazine, and Good Morning America.
A Groundbreaking Resource
Notably, Lindz Amer’s web series “Queer Kid Stuff” has been commended as a groundbreaking educational resource on YouTube, particularly during the height of the #MeToo movement when they discussed topics like consent, as acknowledged by Teen Vogue.
New Non-Binary Character
Paw Patrol’s spinoff show, Rubble & Crew, first aired on February 3, 2023. It introduced the character River in its episode titled “Builds An Observatory,” which aired on August 21.
River is portrayed as a skateboarder with a strong passion for photography and becomes a new resident of Builder Cove.
River Joins Rumble and Friends
Throughout the episode, River joins Rubble and the gang in various building projects, with their ultimate goal being to capture a shooting star that is expected to appear in the sky that evening.
The Socks Are the Trans-Pride Flag Colors
While the episode does not explicitly mention River’s gender identity as “non-binary” or specify their preferred pronouns, there is a subtle hint in their attire, which includes trainers and socks featuring the colors pink, white, and blue, representing the trans-Pride flag.
Amer Helped Write the Episode
Lindz Amer took to Instagram on September 2 to share their involvement in writing an episode for the Paw Patrol franchise’s spinoff series, saying they were consulted regarding the show’s first non-binary character.
A Character Young Audiences Can Admire
They expressed their intention to create a non-binary character that serves as an aspirational role model for children by showing the character’s coolness for young audiences to admire.
The Voice Actor Is Also Non-Binary
River’s voice was provided by a non-binary voice actor, Cihang Ma, and Lindz Amer expressed their happiness with the overall outcome.
Not Everyone Is Pleased
However, the introduction of a non-binary character in Rubble & Crew quickly drew the attention of right-wing critics, who accused Lindz Amer and the entertainment industry of “indoctrinating” trans ideologies into children.
Some Accuse the Show of Going Woke
Robby Starbuck, a former music video director turned conservative pundit, took to social media to voice his concerns, describing it as Paw Patrol going “woke” and urging parents to limit their children’s exposure to mainstream TV shows and the internet without adult supervision.
Some Say the Character Is a Tomboy
The far-right anti-LGBT organization known as Gays Against Groomers also joined the discourse, dismissing River as merely a tomboy and framing the character’s inclusion as an attempt to transition and recruit children into the LGBTQ+ ideology.
Some Say This ‘Indoctrinates’ Children
Another right-wing pundit, Matt Walsh, labeled Lindz Amer as an extremist activist within the LGBTQ+ community.
He criticized the introduction of a non-binary character in a children’s show as an effort to “indoctrinate” young viewers.
Paw Patrol Has Been Around for a Decade
Paw Patrol, originally premiered in 2013, is an animated series featuring a squad of police officer pups or dogs.
One of the Most Popular Shows
The show has consistently received high ratings on Nickelodeon in the United States and even inspired a successful film titled “PAW Patrol: The Movie,” released in 2021.
A New Movie Is Coming Soon
A sequel, “PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie,” is scheduled for release on September 29.
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