Notorious PIG: Peppa Pig blocked in China because of her gangster reputation

This is not fake news! We admit we have had slight misgivings about Peppa for a little while now. First there was that famous phone incident. Then the front face horror. Well now it’s been revealed that China’s a bit keen to outlaw her, and it’s all because of her pesky “gangster biartch” ways.

Peppa and her gangsta homies

“Chinese video streaming site Douyin has wiped more than 30,000 clips featuring Peppa Pig this week after the character developed a “gangster” reputation among adults,” SBS reports. The Guardian say the hashtag #PeppaPig has also been banned.

If you’re bewildered at this point, we get it. Speaking from a nation that has wholeheartedly embraced Peppa Pig, it can be hard to understand this Peppa ban. It’s suggested China’s anti-Peppa stance has many, many layers of complexity – and they all lead back to the world’s most polite demonstration of anti-social behaviour.

Beware slackers, oink-ers and puddle jumpers

Peppa Pig enthusiasts “run counter to the mainstream value and are usually poorly educated with no stable job”, the Global Times reports. “They are unruly slackers roaming around and the antithesis of the young generation the [Communist] party tries to cultivate.”

Read more about Peppa Pig:

Both adults and children are becoming obsessed with Peppa Pig, and it’s fuelling some pretty outrageous behaviour which is worrying mums and dads. #coughs

“Parents said that their pre-school children began oinking and jumping into puddles after watching the cartoon, which has traditionally been seen as good material for early childhood education, especially for those learning English.”

Peppa Pig Mr Skinnny Legs episode

Hog thug life

This is all a little bit reminiscent of when they banned dancing in the movie Footloose, if that makes sense. Peppa has somehow become a sign of joyful rebellion in China, with some young people clammering for Peppa merchandise, exchanging Peppa memes or even tattooing the preschool pig on their bodies.

And therein lies another part of the problem, apparently. Tattoos are frowned upon in China, and seen as subversive. The temporary and permanent Peppa tatts cheeky millennials are sporting are thought to be vulgar and promote an unseemly and confusing sort of “thug life”. They’re viewed as unwholesome, despite their toddler roots.

“Peppa Pig is supposed to teach kids about the importance of family which is quite acceptable to the Chinese culture,” senior research fellow at RMIT University, Professor Yu told SBS News. 

“But the fact that young people have turned it into something associated with a thug or a gangster, that’s totally the opposite of what (Chinese President) Xi Jinping has wanted China to be.” 

Peppa Pig and friends

She’s a monster

It seems to be a case of “kids these days” adopting a symbol to express both their individualism and a sort of generational solidarity. The powers that be, however, are having none of this. #GoodbyePeppa

While it’s not clear where the directive to remove the Peppa videos from Douyin came from, it may have come straight from the top. Douyin has been ordered to censor content on their service by the Chinese government before, and had a sister streaming app shut down after government intervention, so it could also be a decision preempting similar commercial sanctions.

Watch out for gangsta Peppa, mums and dads! You’ve been warned!

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