Contrary to newspaper reports this week, Thomas the Tank Engine is not banning Christmas from its show
The Daily Mail and The Telegraph have both published articles claiming that Thomas the Tank Engine programme makers are attempting to "write Christmas out" of their episodes. The Mail headline reports that "Christmas is banned on Sodor"[the home of Thomas and his friends] and the Telegraph that "Christmas is removed to be Policitally Correct".
This led to HIT Entertainment releasing the following statement:
"Any reports that HIT Entertainment, rights owner of ‘Thomas & Friends’, has been “writing Christmas out of a new series” are completely inaccurate. Nothing could be further from the truth. The episode recently referenced in some press articles is six years old and was contained in a four episode DVD that was not sold as either a “Christmas” or a “Holiday” themed release.
"Thomas has a great deal of Christmas themed content and does not shy away from celebrating the occasion, as last year’s DVD ‘Thomas & Friends: Christmas Express’ makes clear. Currently we are working on another DVD ‘Merry Christmas, Thomas’."
A comment on one of their blog posts states that this is simply a "laughable non-story" but Show Racism the Red Card believes that these headlines have significant negative consequences, fuelling xenophobic and islamophobic attitudes in young people.
Sarah Soyei, Regional Manager at Show Racism the Red Card said:
"I delivered anti-racism workshops in a high school this week and the young people were citing this story as an example that "immigrants are taking over". Young people don't necessarily read the facts behind the headlines but it is clear that stories such as these are impacting negatively upon their attitudes and beliefs."
When people are regularly fed stories that 'Christmas is being banned', undoubtably many would feel threatened and angry but these headlines are simply untrue.