Row comes ahead of Italy’s upcoming general election.
The popular children’s cartoon series Peppa Pig is at the centre of a political row in Italy over the show’s inclusion of two co-parenting lesbian polar bears.
The episode, entitled Families, sees Penny announce: “I live with my mummy and my other mummy. One mummy is a doctor and one mummy cooks spaghetti”.
The far-right Fratelli d’Italia (FdI) party of Giorgia Meloni, tipped to be Italy’s next prime minister after elections later this month, has appealed to state broadcaster not to air the episode with the two mothers.
Federico Mollicone, culture spokesman of the conservative nationalist party, said it would be “unacceptable” for RAI to broadcast the episode, saying: “We cannot accept gender indoctrination”, reports Italian newspaper La Stampa.
“Once again the politically correct has struck, at the expense of our children”, Mollicone said, adding: “Can’t children just be children?”
Centre-left politician and gay rights activist Alessandro Zan, whose bill aimed at fighting homophobia was blocked by right-wing senators last year, wrote ironically on Twitter: “Fratelli d’Italia raises the alarm, a new enemy is besieging the nation: Peppa Pig.”
This is the first time in its 18-year history that the hit television show, created by British animators Mark Baker and Neville Astley, has featured a same-sex couple.
The episode was aired in the UK on Tuesday, two years after an online petition demanded a “same-sex parent family on Peppa Pig”.