Netflix quietly canceled the animated children's series Ridley Jones, after an episode featured a non-binary character.
According to the show's creator Chris Nee, the series was not given any promotion before its release. Nee, a two-time Kidscreen Award winner and Emmy nominee, tweeted on Wednesday addressing the cancellation, claiming that Netflix "quietly dumped" the show due to its inclusion of a non-binary character.
The Ridley Jones episode featured a bison character named Fred who identifies as non-binary and uses they/them pronouns. In episode 8 of season 5, titled "Herd Day," Fred comes out to their grandmother, who is voiced by Cyndi Lauper. The episode sparked controversy, with many claiming the show was pushing a woke agenda.
One Twitter user criticized the show's portrayal of a non-binary character, writing, "What a message to send to young girls in particular." Others praised the show for its representation of non-binary people. Nee, who is a lesbian and a mother herself, has been an advocate for greater representation of LGBTQ+ characters in children's media.
In her tweet addressing the cancellation, Nee wrote, "Doesn't surprise me that Netflix has quietly dumped the first preschool show that has a non-binary character coming out. I realize in this day and age dumped means many things. Just zero promotion of the episode.'
She continued: "Oh and yes, this is the end of the series. They cancelled us after what they just put out. They threw all the specials, the xmas special (now?), the feature length special, the CYNDI LAUPER episode and just quietly slipped it onto the service. So this is it."
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