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admin 02.09.2015

Sherman also noted that he felt taken advantage of by HIT Entertainment, which produces the show.
It's unclear what this means for the future of the show or if the roles will be recast.
HIT Entertainment, which also owns such properties as Bob the Builder and Barney the Dinosaur, was sold to Mattel in 2011 for $680 million. It’s been a surprise to see Thomas the Tank Engine slammed in the media recently by Labour minister Mary Creagh.
Creagh described Thomas & Friends as responsible for setting a poor example to children and pointed out that the few female characters featured in the show are portrayed as annoyances, constantly disrupting the functioning of the railway. The balance of male to female characters within Thomas & Friends may be somewhat outdated. Although there is truth behind Creagh’s claims, she is judging Awdry’s stories from the 20th century in relation to current social norms and gender standards. Hit Entertainment, which owns the rights to Thomas & Friends, recognised that there is a historical imbalance and in order to update it have announced female engines are in development.
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Full steam ahead with Thomas the Tank Engine Party Supplies, featuring Thomas and friends on tableware, plates, napkins, and cups. She stated the show should include more female engines to encourage girls to become train drivers. There is a clear shortage of female train drivers in Britain and with 95.8% of workers male, it’s natural to consider the reasons behind the statistics and for us to question whether job opportunities within the sector are equally advertised between genders.
Cartoons are largely responsible for presenting images of gender that are somewhat stereotypical and traditional, examples of girlhood usually involving little ponies and supportive sidekicks. However, the show is fun and has been enjoyed by generations of children for what it is – toy trains puffing through the jaunts of locomotive life. Thomas & Friends has been running for decades and it easy to see how in modern viewing, certain principles and standards of the show become old fashioned. In this case it appears political correctness has got in the way of a simple children’s story. Add party favors, decorations, and invitations to Thomas the Tank Engine Party Supplies for a tootin’ Thomas the Train birthday!
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Such a specific attack on the show is harsh of Creagh; she is imposing retrospective political correctness on a quaint children’s story from the 1940s.
Recent CBeebies remake of Topsy and Tim caused a media stir, the show, supposedly updated for the 21st century, was slated for reinforcing outdated gender stereotypes (Topsy inside decorating princess cupcakes, Tim playing outside with his quad bikes). Mix and match Thomas the Tank Engine Party Supplies with our solid color tableware for a custom birthday theme. Is Creagh, as Labour’s shadow transport secretary, really addressing the matter at hand by singling out Thomas the Tank Engine as a contributor to negative stereotypes in the workplace today? It’s unlikely that Creagh will tackle the issue of the shortage of female train drivers through publicly criticising a children’s television show.
It is important to note that Awdry was writing in a very different time period, inspired to write the Thomas books by adventures of his own childhood spent overlooking a railway tunnel.

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