Paw Patrol follows a little boy, Ryder, and his team of pups, who save the day in their fictional town. There’s Marshall, a firefighting dalmatian, and Skye, the fearless cockapoo who flies around on lookout. But one of the most popular characters is the German shepherd Chase, who happens to be a cop.
Last week the show’s Twitter account announced it was muting content “for Black voices to be heard so we can continue to listen and further our learning.” And Twitter did its thing in the replies.PAW Patrol✔@pawpatrol
In solidarity of #amplifymelanatedvoices we will be muting our content until June 7th to give access for Black voices to be heard so we can continue to listen and further our learning. #amplifyblackvoices
One person linked to a 2018 article on the satirical website the Onion, “Paw Patrol Writers Defend Episode Where German Shepherd Cop Shoots Unarmed Black Lab 17 Times in Back.”
“Defund the paw patrol,” someone replied, while another added, “Euthanize the police dog.”
“For a paramilitary organization Chase breaks so many privacy laws it’s ridiculous. Sky also in direct violation of international standards preventing dogs from flying helicopters,” another Twitter user wrote.
The comments were mostly in jest — although some took dark humor to a new level. However, it ended up sparking a wider debate about how good cops, like the lovable Chase, should be portrayed on television.
The New York Times published an article on Wednesday titled “The Protests Come for Paw Patrol,” and while it acknowledged people calling for the show to be “canceled” weren’t really serious, it basically pointed out why a character like Chase could be problematic.
“It’s a joke, but it’s also not,” the author wrote. “As the protests against racist police violence enter their third week, the charges are mounting against fictional cops too. Even bighearted cartoon police dogs — or maybe especially bighearted cartoon police dogs — are on notice. The effort to publicize police brutality also means banishing the good-cop archetype, which reigns on both television and in viral videos of the protests themselves. Paw Patrol seems harmless enough, and that’s the point: The movement rests on understanding that cops do plenty of harm.”
Other outlets came to the cartoon’s defense, like the Federalist, with its article “Paw Patrol and Chase the Police Dog Are Good Examples of ‘To Protect and Serve.’”
Suddenly the idea that some could find Paw Patrol too problematic took off on Twitter with conservative politicians and commentators quickly weighing in.
This article was originally posted on yahoo.com/entertainment/.