Fireman Sam Fans Flames of Religious Tensions With Koran Blunder

By Gerald Lynch on at

An episode of kids' animated TV show Fireman Sam has been pulled from programming, after it became clear that it included a religiously insensitive scene.

The episode (which is not new, but was indeed first aired on Channel 5 back in October of 2014) shows a character stepping and slipping on a pile of papers which fly up into the air, briefly revealing one sheet to be from the Koran. Though the episode is approaching two years old, the blunder has only recently been spotted.

Toy and entertainment giant Mattel, makers of the show, have yet to give a reason as to how the page made it into such an inappropriate portion of the episode, but have reassured viewers that they believe it would not have been done "maliciously".

"It's just an unfortunate incident where someone from the production company thought they were just putting in random text," said a statement from a Mattel spokesperson.

However, for the split-second the page is viewable, it's identifiable as the Koran's "Surah Mulk (67), verses 13-26".

"The page was intended to show illegible text and we deeply regret this error," continues the Mattel statement. "We sincerely apologise for any distress or offence it may have caused."

Mattel will "no longer be working with the animation studio responsible", and is "reviewing our content production procedures to ensure this never happens again."

For the hardcore Fireman Sam completionist (if such a thing exists) though, there's now going to be a very rare curio in the back catalogue to track down. [BBC]