Paw Patrol spin-off series Rubble and Crew recently saw the introduction of a new non-binary character to join the problem-solving pets.
The Paw Patrol spin-off Rubble and Crew featuring Rubble, the English Bulldog, debuted in February of this year. The animated series follows the exploits of Rubble and his crew as they work on construction projects in Builders Cove.
In the 19th episode, viewers make the acquaintance of a new, non-binary character, River. River is skateboard and photography-obsessed. They join the protagonist pups’ circle of friends to build an observatory for the town.
River’s non-binary identity does not actually get an explicit mention in the episode. They are introduced notmally, without any reference to their gender.
Instead, LGBTQIA+ activist Lindsay Amer who wrote the episode, revealed River’s gender identity in a social media post. Amer is the founder of a YouTube channel called Queer Kid Stuff, a channel that aims to bring LGBTQIA+ media to kids and families. Amer took to their personal Instagram account to announce the news.
“They brought me on to consult on the first non-binary character – meet River!!- for the PP universe and write their episode. Talk about a bucket list item.”
Someone for the pups’ (and kids at home) to look up to
“I wanted to write a non-binary character that was aspirational and incredibly cool, someone for the pups (and kids at home) to look up to.”
The actor who voices River, Cihang Ma, is also non-binary. The show didn’t include direct discussion over Rivers’ identity, however, they did make subtle reference to it with the colour scheme on the character’s shoes. The pink, white and light blue colour scheme of the transgender pride flag is on River’s socks.
Also: A US teacher faced the sack this year for reading a book about a non-binary child to her class.
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