Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue Service have banned beloved children's TV character Fireman Sam from being used as a mascot on the basis the white male firefighter isn’t inclusive enough, and may discourage women or ethnic minorities from joining the force.
Freddy and Filbert, blue and red fire extinguishers complete with hands, mouths and eyes, will now take his place – but many members of the public are displeased, believing Sam’s ouster is an example of political correctness gone mad.
They’ve really axed Fireman Sam for being a male? 🤯 this is the world our children are growing up in!! Being male is now a problem? If you’re offended by a cartoon then you are a massive twat! Can’t we keep Fireman Sam and axe Piers Morgan instead? #FiremanSam— ⚽️ T ⚽️ (@gooner_toni) September 11, 2019
Fireman Sam was created in the 1980s by two London firefighters – his cohorts now include disabled and ethnic minority characters, and female firefighter Penny Morris has been his cohort for some time.
“Firefighters nationally and residents locally have raised some concerns Fireman Sam doesn’t reflect the fire service today, in terms of both the job itself and our workforce. It’s important to us our open days and community events don’t make anyone feel excluded and therefore we took this decision. We always make sure that we include plenty of activities and other ways to engage children and adults, to help them learn more about fire safety and a firefighter’s role,” Lincolnshire’s chief fire officer Les Britzman told The Lincolnite newspaper.
This country has gone to shit. Sacking fireman Sam off because he’s a man. To all you PC c**ts out there, it’s not a crime to be a man and to you people that are behind these decisions why don’t you grow a pair of bollocks and not cave into these insane people. #FiremanSam— Nick Christofi (@nicktofi) September 11, 2019
In March this year, the writer who created Fireman Sam waded into the show's ongoing sexism row, hitting back at critics who said the programme puts women off joining the service.
David Jones, himself a former firefighter, said the animation was meant to educate its young audience on fire safety, rather than being a recruitment drive – “someone doesn't join the fire service when they watch Fireman Sam, they wouldn't be the right people for the job if that was their mentality,” he told BBC Radio 2 at the time.
If women are being 'put off' joining the fire service because Fireman Sam - A CARTOON CHARACTER - supposedly 'perpetuates male stereotypes' then can I politely suggest these women probably don't have what it takes to fight fires. pic.twitter.com/YEZXZtDQ0J— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) March 18, 2019
The ban has sparked outrage on social media, with many users questioning what the world has come to.
The Fireman Sam debacle must have postman pat shitting himself. Your next kiddo pic.twitter.com/vSc1khUMSI— Chris (@tophersnookes) September 11, 2019
When @GMB discuss Fireman Sam & someone from the fire service comes on to say why the title of the show doesn’t reflect our profession we get comments like this. And this is why we will continue to educate the public about why women make excellent firefighters. Don’t be like John https://t.co/o7cfm3N0zh— London Fire Brigade (@LondonFire) September 11, 2019
Didn't think I'd ever log into Twitter on 9/11 and see 'Fireman Sam' is trending higher than any 9/11 related tags. pic.twitter.com/k1qLlkA86a— Werewolf™ 🇬🇧 🏳️🌈 (@Werewolf_UK) September 11, 2019