TV chef James Martin has launched an unexpected rant after an inclusivity row involving Fireman Sam.
On Wednesday, the Lincolnshire fire service announced it would no longer be using the kids’ TV character in its promotional material because it is not inclusive and could prevent women from joining the force.
After hearing the news, James saw red, claiming it was the “last straw” with “PC bollocks”.
He tweeted: “Right that’s it, Fireman Sam is the last straw I’m done with this pc bollocks and 100 identities being taught.
“In a last stand to this outrageous madness I now wish to be known as an Otter.
“I like other Otters and when you get bored of this crap in the world join me under water with other Otters, both male and female, and call enough and an end to this madness [sic].”
James then changed his Twitter avatar to that of an otter.
However, his views faced some criticism on the social media site for trivialising issues relating to gender identity.
This is not a good view... People are who they are, gender is just a part of that, so yeah, firefighter rather than fireman is the right thing. Please, don't take the chud view on this.— OleenaNatiras (@OleenaNatiras) September 11, 2019
Thanks for letting us know you're an absolute bigot James— Cam (@cam_sf) September 12, 2019
So... grown adults are throwing tantrums and deciding to abdicate from the human race over a tv show for kids acknowledging there are more people in the world than white men?— nafrondel (@nafrondel) September 12, 2019
Spoken from a position of white, male privilege. As a woman, or a person of colour (for example), it’s difficult to imagine being a fire officer if all you see from the moment you’re born are images of white, male “firemen”. See it, be it...— quickstiles (@quickstiles) September 11, 2019
Male fragility on display in spades here.— Lee Griffin (@Niaccurshi) September 12, 2019
Explaining the decision to drop Fireman Sam from their promotional material, Lincolnshire’s chief fire officer Les Britzma explained on Good Morning Britain: “The character itself is outdated, the programme itself is probably fairly up to date.
“I think the producers would probably get more fire and rescue services wanting to use the character and the programme if they brought themselves up to date a bit, that’s all we’re asking.
“We’re trying to save people’s lives here, not be politically correct.
“The reason more women don’t want to be firefighters is because of images like Fireman Sam.”