30 September 2020

Spitting Image causes uproar by introducing puppet of teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg in new series

Spitting Image has never been one for pulling its punches, but the programme’s makers have been accused of striking a low blow ahead of the new series starting this weekend.

And the reason for the the political satire show causing uproar, even before it’s been screened, is the inclusion of teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg as one of the new puppets.

Thunberg, 17, is set to be portrayed as a weather presenter, but the show has already sparked a backlash on social media from people who believe it unfair to mock the youngster, who also has autism. 

Sweden's Greta Thunberg gained international recognition following her solo protests outside Sweden’s parliament in Stockholm in 2018 (DPA/PA Images)

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

But one user wrote: “I think anyone under the age of 18 shouldn't be mocked and made a laughing stock on a satirical show made to be about criticising and making a laugh of politics. Doesn't matter who they are if they can't even vote yet.”

Another wrote: “She’s a kid. Unfair target.”

Another 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...”

The show is also set to feature puppets of Donald Trump, Boris Johnson, Kim Kardashian, Adele, Meghan Markle, Elon Musk, Beyonce, Piers Morgan and James Corden.

The series, made famous in the 80s and 90s airs from this weekend via BritBox and will run for ten weeks.

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