How can Rastamouse be racist?

Honestly sometimes I despair, I really do. Apparently there have been over 100 complaints to the BBC recently. No, not about EastEnders, or Jonathan Ross, or any of the usual suspects.

This time, parents have been complaining to CBeebies. They are outraged because of the presence of a little singing mouse on their screens.

Namely Rastamouse. Apparently Rastamouse is ‘racist’ because he is a Rastafarian, who likes playing reggae. One commenter here, who surely needs a major reality check, says the CBeebies puppet looks like a ‘gangster’. Some critics are even claiming there’s a sinister subtext in the mice’s references to ‘cheese’ (*rolls eyes*).

Let’s um… chill out for a minute, shall we people? Because if you think about it, the idea that Rastamouse is racist is preposterous. He is clearly a puppet mouse, for a start. A PUPPET. Yes he is celebrating the Rastafarian culture. And yes he likes reggae. But he is not, in any way, negative.

The animation’s brilliant, the stories entertaining – one of his creators is actually a Rasta – and the music is fab. If Rastamouse and his friends bring a little bit of a different kind of culture into the lives of kids who wouldn’t normally have a clue what reggae, or Rastafarianism is, then so much the better, surely? And if you really think Rastamouse is racist, it might be time to challenge your own preconceptions.

My only complaint would be that it seems a little bizarre he is wearing a t-shirt and no pants, but then, he is a puppet. Irie, etc, etc.

*What do you think about Rastamouse? I’d love to know, share your thoughts below.

written by Liz Jarvis