This article comes after people on twitter were calling for Nickelodeon’s hit TV series Paw Patrol to be cancelled due to Chase the police pup. Quite a few people were quick to hop onboard with this and it was at the forefront of my social media for about a week. At a social gathering, my father-in-law actually asked me if it had been cancelled because of the wide social media presence calling for a cancellation and responses from parents begging for it to stay on the air. I’m not here to say if it should be on air or off; however, I came here to point out that there is a major problem with the show.
Mayor Goodway, the mayor of Adventure Bay, is an African American woman who has a pet chicken. This immediately sets her up to be a bit immature; however, I can see how that could be a point to make her relatable to children. She also has a niece and nephew that appear in a few episodes from a relative we never see. We also have Ryder, a caucasian 10 year old boy who lives in Adventure Bay and seemingly has an endless spending account which he uses to expand the Paw Patrol to include new pups and a Sea Patroller along with the Paw Terrain Vehicle for Jungle adventures.
Scientists all agree that children are very impressionable and Paw Patrol’s age demographic is under 6 years old. So we are showing children this very clear social inequality from a young age. Mayor Goodway is portrayed as a very unintelligent character who frequently loses things or generally gets herself into trouble. She often relies on the Paw Patrol and Ryder to get her and the town out of trouble.
Many children watch Paw Patrol, but it perpetuates institutional racism in a new generation. It showcases an African American woman who is in a position of power in a small community and seemingly messes it up at every turn. She then relies on a white 10 year old boy to come and save the day with his crew of pups.
In my opinion, there were quite a few choices that the designers and editors on the Paw Patrol team could have done differently but chose not to. Children’s programs are becoming more and more progressive as the years go on and society changes its views. But we’re far far away from where we need to be.
What do you think? Join the conversation and speak up today!
*Photo from Paw Patrol Official & Friends/ YouTube*