A cartoon series aimed at children in Sweden is completely focused on genitals. The promotional material released recently has sparked outrage from parents, who feel the material is highly inappropriate for young children.
The one minute clip released on YouTube (you can view it here) for Sweden’s equivalent of CBeebie – known locally as the Barnkanalen – shows cartoon penises and vaginas smiling and dancing. The words that the video contains are often used by Swedish children to refer to their private parts.
Roughly translated, the song goes something like this.
“Here comes Willie at a run, he has no pants. Twinkle is cool, you better believe it, even on an old lady… Willie and Twinkle, what a great gang!”
As expected, the clip has gone viral, racking up more than three million views collectively on its various editions. But more importantly, the promo has elicited strong responses from concerned parents. Incidentally, the advertisement has been produced for Bacillakuten, a new series of programs that aim to educate children aged 3 to 6 about the body. The song’s Facebook page contains hundreds of outraged comments by parents who are offended that children of that age be expected to talk about genitals.
Many have wondered if the program is indeed educational. However, despite the widespread criticism, the show did find some supporters as well. Some of the comments in support of the program were.
“Great song about the most natural thing possible. Superb! Fun song and fun video. Too bad adults turn something so nice and natural into something shameful.”
The song has been written and performed by Johan Holmström, who has previously composed such oddly interesting works “Pee, farting and pooping,” “I like slime,” and “Mollusks in my pants.”
Defending his work, he said,I feel sorry for those parents who get upset, this is a harmless music video.”
He added that a full-length version of the song won’t be released on YouTube, but on Spotify. Apparently, he had a reason to be miffed at YouTube because initially, the website too thought the clip was meant for adults, classifying it as “Adult Content,” requiring viewers to confirm they are aged over 18 to view it. Some strong convincing from the makers ensured the “adult” rating was revised.
The clip is only meant to serve as a reminder about the program that is devoted entirely to genitals.
“I will be very interested to see what the reaction will be after it comes out,” quipped Holmström.
Though the clip might seem over the top for some, Caroline Ginner, project leader for children’s programming at education broadcaster UR in Sweden, had an interesting justification for the TV series.
“Let’s keep the secret that children have vaginas and penises until they are 18. Probably they won’t notice anything in their pants before then, and once they do, then this disgusting thing will be hopefully covered in guilt and shame.”
Do you think the Swedish program is inappropriate for children?
[Image Credit | Shutterstock]