Grovelling apology over Fireman Sam’s Koran slip-up
Channel 5, operated in the UK by the US media company Viacom, has been forced to withdraw an episode of Fireman Sam, in which one character appears to tread on a page from the Koran.
According to the BBC, a scene in the children’s programme shows a fireman slipping on a pile of papers – and as they fly into the air a page from the Koran is “briefly depicted”.
The episode was first broadcast in October 2014 on Channel 5 but the “error” has only recently been spotted.
The production company Mattel apologised and said it did not believe it was done “maliciously”.
Channel 5, which broadcasts Fireman Sam, has removed the episode from its streaming website.
Miqdaad Versi, assistant secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, tweeted:
I have no idea what went through the producers’s minds when they thought this was a good idea #baffled.
He also said he had identified the page from the Koran as “Surah Mulk (67), verses 13-26”.
A Mattel spokeswoman told the BBC:
It’s just an unfortunate incident where someone from the production company thought they were just putting in random text. We have no reason to believe it was done maliciously.
In a statement, Mattel said:
The page was intended to show illegible text and we deeply regret this error. We sincerely apologise for any distress or offence it may have caused.
It said it would “no longer be working with the animation studio responsible”, and would take “immediate action to remove this episode from circulation”.
We are reviewing our content production procedures to ensure this never happens again.
Here’s the clip:
Hat tip: Trevor Blake, BarrieJohn and Marcus Robinson