'Thomas the Tank Engine' Controversy Is Out of Control!

thomas the tank engineIf you were looking for still more proof that the politically correct epidemic has gotten seriously out of hand, look no further. In an effort to make Thomas the Tank Engine more innocuous (yeah, 'cause it's really a hotbed of controversy now), the producers of the series removed the word Christmas from the episode "Keeping Up With James," replacing it with the festive catch-all term "winter holidays."

And guess what happened? In Hit Entertainment's misguided effort to avoid offending anybody, ever ... they offended somebody! Not just any somebody, either -- the producers offended Hilary Fortnam, daughter of Rev. W Awdry, the British clergyman who wrote the original Thomas books.

Yep, that's right. Clergyman.


Nice one, Hit Entertainment.

Fortnam is reportedly upset because she doesn't want people to think her father, a vicar, wrote the story that way. I don't blame her. Presumably the whole Christmas thing was a big deal to Awdry, since he was a priest and all.

What bothers me even more than the fact that some spineless marketing morons made this insensitive mistake, though, is how a notion as absurd as being politically correct continues to influence every aspect of our culture. As a mom, it irks me even more. I mean Thomas the Tank Engine, really?

Ironically, George Carlin -- the notoriously politically incorrect comedian who actually served as the American Narrator on Thomas the Tank Engine between 1991 and 1998 -- said it best when he summed up the pitfalls of being politically correct:

Political correctness is America's newest form of intolerance, and it's especially pernicious because it comes disguised as tolerance. It presents itself as fairness, yet attempts to restrict and control people's language with strict codes and rigid rules. I'm not sure that's the way to fight discrimination. I'm not sure silencing people or forcing them to alter their speech is the best method for solving problems that go much deeper than speech.

Yeah! What he said.

Interestingly, Carlin (who famously swore like a truck driver) also played the grandpa on Caillou, possibly the most inoffensive show ever. See that? Politically incorrect as the day is long and kids loved him. (May he rest in peace.)

Do you think producers should put Christmas back in Thomas the Tank Engine?


Image via Jim Capaldi/Flickr

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