Family

‘Thomas’ the Train Gets a Rebrand — and the United Nations Weighs In

Liberals emphasize these cute little engines need to reflect today's gender sensibilities (going off the tracks here, folks?)

Even the fictitious island of Sodor, the setting of the long-running and beloved children’s television series “Thomas & Friends,” can’t escape the ever-expanding reach of liberal indoctrination.

The classic children’s series is rebranding itself with a refreshed set of characters and a commitment to being more multicultural, inclusive, and gender-balanced, according to The Daily Wire.

Within a week or so, the so-called Steam Team — the main railroad cars that make up the show’s cast of characters — will have three “male” trains and three “female” trains, rather than the male railroad cars that up until now dominated Sir Topham Hat’s rail yard in the original series, according to reporting from The Independent.

Equality across the board is the far Left’s holy grail, after all — with an aim to “fix” what’s not broken.

“The show has undergone an evolution to remain relevant for the next generation of parents and children by opening up the world of ‘Thomas & Friends,’ so children can discover the world around them while being entertained,” Ian McCue, senior producer at “Thomas & Friends,” said in a statement.

Strangely, the show also has a progressive new partner: the United Nations.

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A Mattel corporate executive (Mattel owns the “Thomas & Friends” brand) recently met with representatives of the global institution, headquartered in New York City, “to vet Thomas’ content for its U.N.-worthiness.” as the Los Angeles Times reported.

After a viewing of the rebranded show, feedback ensued.

“I thought it was excellent — I was really impressed with the representation of gender equality,” said Tolulope Lewis-Tamoka, Africa program adviser for U.N. Women, speaking via Skype from Nairobi, Kenya, as the Times noted. “I think this will make a strong impression on boys and girls. And it has gender-sensitive language, which is what U.N. Women really stands for.”

It is? One might think there were many other more pressing issues for women around the world to be involved in than the nuances of gender-sensitive language in a children’s TV show.

Not everyone is thrilled about the new partnership or the rebrand itself.

“Academic studies have demonstrated again and again that even very young children show preferences for stereotypical boys and girls toys. Little boys tend to prefer stereotypical boy toys, and girls tend to prefer stereotypical girl toys. This is a cross-cultural phenomenon — real differences between boys and girls exist,” Laurie Higgins, a cultural affairs writer for the Illinois Family Institute (IFI) in Tinley Park, Illinois, told LifeZette.

“It also reveals that real sex differences precede stereotypes, not the other way around,” she said. “This PC [politically correct] nonsense of balancing the number of boy trains and girl trains constitutes just the kind of social conditioning progressives claim to oppose. Some questions for progressives: Are they bothered that Mattel still buys into the whole gender-binary system? Are they bothered that the new girl train Nia is wearing eyeliner? Are they going to badger Mattel into putting eyeliner on Thomas?”

Higgins is not alone in her criticism.

Related: Kids Need More One-on-One Time with Mom

“The United Nations, the global organization most people think of as an apparatus to promote peace and hold nations accountable for human rights violations or peace treaties, is, in reality, a distinctly far-Left progressive organization that promotes gender ideology, abortion, and open borders worldwide,” noted video blogger Elizabeth Johnson, also known as Activist Mommy.

“Still, the lengths they apparently go to, in order to ensure the world’s children are being properly indoctrinated with their progressive beliefs, are stunning. I never would have thought [the agenda] would reach as far as Thomas the Train,” she added.

See the new “Thomas & Friends” show opener in the video below:

Elizabeth Economou is a former CNBC staff writer and adjunct professor. Follow her on Twitter.

(photo credit, article image: Thomas the Tank Engine, CC BY-ND 2.0, by Steve VunCannon)

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