NRA TV already has many critics, but it drew even more backlash this week after depicting characters from the children’s television show “Thomas & Friends” wearing Ku Klux Klan hoods.
The National Rifle Association’s online video channel aired a segment in which spokeswoman Dana Loesch slammed the Nick Jr. cartoon for adding two female characters to its cast, Rebecca and Nia, one of which is from Kenya, according to the New York Times.
“They’ve decided that the next stop is Virtue Town,” said last Friday on her NRA TV program “Relentless,” the NRA TV program that she hosts.
“I’m really, really struggling to understand how in the world there isn’t any diversity in any of this,” she said, as an image of the cartoon trains in white KKK hoods in front of burning tracks flash on the screen. “Fair, I get it,” she said, referencing the altered image. “Thomas the Tank Engine has been a blight on race relations for far too long.”
Loesch and NRA TV were slammed for the segment on social media, with actor George Takei tweeting, “The NRA literally has gone off the…rails” and director Judd Apatow saying, “Such a hateful nightmare they are. We are all so exhausted by dumb, vicious people. Vote in November. Let’s enjoy ending this nightmare.”
The NRA literally has gone off the…rails. https://t.co/3bWuZkqXT8
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) September 13, 2018
— Judd Apatow (@JuddApatow) September 13, 2018
Mattel, the owner of the Thomas the Tank Engine brand, said in a statement to the Times diversity has “always been a priority” for them, adding: “We are not associated with images that promote hate and denounce any images of our brands that are being used to convey a message not in line with the values of the company.”
Mattel, the NRA and Nick Jr. did not immediately respond to TheWrap‘s request for comment.
Watch clips from the segment in the video Yahoo! News below.