BBC Tackles Underrepresentation of Women in Pretend CG Land

By Gary Cutlack on at

The BBC's in-home babysitting service known as CBeebies is about to be hit by a new wave of female-led cartoons, with the broadcaster admitting that much of its animated output has previously been skewed towards Male Character Fixing Infrastructure type scenarios.

CBeebies controller Kay Benbow, who's about to leave the network after seven years in charge, says she's proud to have pushed for more shows based around Girls Doing Things Too, particularly the likes of the forthcoming Bitz and Bob, which, she says, features an eight-year-old girl gatecrashing the male-dominated STEM world and repeatedly saving the day through her knowledge of science, technology, engineering and maths, because girls aren't just all about pink ponies now.

Benbow thinks it's not necessarily sexism that's been behind the lack of female cartoon characters over the years, saying male animation dominance may have come about simply because "Mr" is an easy way to tag someone and hang a character off. She said: "I have a view that it’s easier with men, because Mr sums up a man, while women are defined by their marital status."

Stalwart perpetual repeat fodder like Bob the Builder and Fireman Sam are therefore on the scrapheap, as the old CG boys' network gets cleaned out to make way for this new wave of Girls Who Can Fix Things Just As Well And Probably Even Have Their Own Hex Key Set. [The Times]