News of The Wiggles announcing a new “more inclusive” line up has been welcomed by many people across Australia. But, not Lyle Shelton, who has accused the popular children’s entertainers of “indoctrinating children into LGBTQIA+ gender fluid ideology”.
The Wiggles had announced that it would expand its current line up to eight members as part of its YouTube series Fruit Salad.
Shaping The Wiggles For The Future
Fruit Salad TV premieres on our YouTube on Saturday September 4th! 🙌 pic.twitter.com/PS6kvUYjid
— The Wiggles (@TheWiggles) August 21, 2021
The newest members include John Pearce who found fame with pop group Justice Crew, who has Filipino heritage and is the only new male cast member. The new cast includes Indigenous Australian Evie Ferris, Chinese-Australian Kelly Hamilton and Ethiopian-born Tsehay Hawkinsand.
“As society has evolved, we have embraced the need for diversity and inclusiveness and want children all over the world to see themselves reflected on the screen. It’s so important that The Wiggles continue to evolve along with our society.”
“This is the first step towards shaping The Wiggles for the next 30 years, taking us in a direction that truly represents and serves our community more inclusively,” Field said in a statement
📣 SNEAK PEEK 📣 The Red Wiggles are here in #FruitSaladTV to teach you the very special Dippy Do Dinosaur Dance, join us for even more fun on September 4th on our YouTube! 💃🕺❤ #TheWiggles pic.twitter.com/hEDtLf7swr
— The Wiggles (@TheWiggles) August 24, 2021
Rainbow Continues To Rile Lyle Shelton
But it wasn’t so much as this more inclusive line up of new performers that had Shelton feeling a little hot under the collar, shortly after the announcement.
Shelton targeted what he called the introduction of “a ‘non-binary’ unicorn, Shirley Shawn”.
According to Shelton, the Shawn character had previously featured in a video released last year “holding an umbrella in the colours of the rainbow political movement”.
I am trying not to weigh in on this stupid culture war thing they're trying to start with the Wiggles but it is very funny to me they're mad a unicorn is non-binary. pic.twitter.com/lgocNx5VU5
— Josh Taylor (@joshgnosis) August 23, 2021
Alongside Shirley Shawn, two other non-binary characters are set to join The Wiggles, Police Officer Beaples who is largely non-verbal, and Bok an emotional, shy hand puppet.
Sadly, Shelton has taken his outrage one step further, also launching a petition which asks its signatories that now that The Wiggles “are pushing LGBTIQA+ gender fluid ideology, would you let your kids watch the woke Wiggles?” The petition has so far gathered around 2000 signatures.
…. And, Matt Canavan
The new line-up also caught the ire of Coalition Senator Matt Canavan- who has previously called for gay and lesbian Australians to “grow a spine” in the face of homophobia. Canavan told The Australian. “The Wiggles are free to do what they like. It was nice while it lasted. But you go woke, you go broke,” going on to predict the new line up would be the beginning of the end for The Wiggles.
While haters will keep on hating, Fruit Salad TV is set to debut on September 4 on YouTube and will be available worldwide.
For 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14
For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife on 1800 184 527 or webchat.