Spitting Image defends Greta Thunberg puppet following backlash

·2-min read

Spitting Image has defended its decision to include a puppet of Greta Thunberg in its new series following an online backlash.

The political satire show, which was watched by 15 million viewers in its heyday, is returning to screens on Saturday via BritBox.

The series will take aim at political and pop cultural figures through the use of distorted and caricatured puppets.

But after an image of Thunberg’s puppet was unveiled, many people criticised the decision to mock the Swedish climate activist, who is 17-years-old and has autism.

Responding to the backlash, Reemah Sakaan, group director of streaming at ITV, told the Broadcasting Press Guild: “It’s a very straightforward joke and is nothing to do with her as an individual."

The show will also feature puppets of Boris Johnson, Donald Trump, Kim Kardashian, Adele, Meghan Markle, Elon Musk, Beyonce and James Corden among others, over a 10-week series.

Watch: The new Spitting Image trailer

Twitter users had criticised the show's depiction of Thunberg, calling the decision "disgusting".

One said: "The fact Spitting Image have decided it’s acceptable to mock a 17-year old with autism is disgusting in itself."

Another said: "Spitting Image has a Greta Thunberg puppet. How did they think this was a good idea?"

A third said: "Greta Thunberg is 17 years old and has autism. You think attacking an autistic kid is satire? You’ve lost the plot Spitting Image..."

It comes after Spitting Image creator Roger Law insisted that the new series would mock both right and left-wing figures on its return.

Asked last week whether it will target right-wing figures only, co-creator Roger Law replied: “No, that’s no fun.

There has been online backlash against Thunberg (AFP via Getty Images)
There has been online backlash against Thunberg (AFP via Getty Images)

“There’s lots of ammunition to throw at the other side as well. You go for them all,” he told The Andrew Marr Show.

But he added the ideology of the current Government was “nuts”.

He said: “When we started Spitting Image everything was in turmoil. There were riots in the streets…. and of course you had Thatcher.

“You start looking on Thatcher with nostalgia because at least you knew what she was about and what she was going to do, if you thought about it.

“Boris and the boys, you’ve got no idea, and the ideology is absolutely nuts,” he told the BBC One show.

And he added: “You can’t really change anybody’s mind by shouting at them… but you can with humour.”

Watch: Royals and Trump star in Spitting Image

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