Fireman Sam producer apologises for ‘Islamophobic symbolism’ in Koran trampling scene
A classic case of ‘What were they thinking?!’, if ever we saw one. Channel 5 has removed an episode of Fireman Sam from its online streaming service, and producer HIT Entertainment has issued a formal apology, after the animated kids’ show sparked outrage by appearing to show a character stepping on loose pages from the Koran.
Aired on June 28, the episode seemed to depict a member of the show’s fire department slipping on a pile of papers, which upon flying into the air, are revealed to be pages from the Koran.
Miqdaad Versi, Assistant Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, wrote on Twitter that he was “baffled” by the scene:
— Miqdaad Versi (@miqdaad) July 26, 2016
He followed that he had identified the page from the Koran to be “Surah Mulk (67), verses 13-26”.
A Mattel spokeswoman told the BBC of the inexpicable clip: “It’s just an unfortunate incident where someone from the production company thought they were just putting in random text. We have no reason to believe it was done maliciously”. Hmm.
In a statement, Mattel said: “The page was intended to show illegible text and we deeply regret this error. We sincerely apologise for any distress or offence it may have caused”.
The statement continued that Mattel would “no longer be working with the animation studio responsible”, and would take “immediate action to remove this episode from circulation”.