London (CNN)Peppa Pig, the perky little porcine beloved of preschoolers across the world, is at the center of a sexism row after London's fire service accused makers of the hit show of using "out of date stereotypical gender specific wording."
'Peppa Pig' is sexist, London Fire Brigade says
The blockbuster cartoon, which airs in more than 180 countries, has faced criticism after an episode called "The Fire Engine" referred to a firefighter as a fireman.
The London Fire Brigade (LFB) tweeted: "Come on @peppapig, we've not been firemen for 30 years. You have a huge influence on kids & using out of date stereotypical gender specific wording prevents young girls from becoming firefighters. Join our #Firefightingsexism campaign."
The fire service also criticized Fireman Sam, another character popular with British preschoolers, while praising the makers of Barbie for producing a fire-fighting doll. The model was issued in a series of career dolls to celebrate Barbie's 60th birthday, though the first Barbie firefighter went on sale in 1995.
The LFB tweeted: "Great to have another supporter in our #FirefightingSexism campaign. Welcome Barbie! She's coming to the rescue, helping girls & boys to imagine everything they can become by joining the Brigade, in our new gold kit too."
The fire brigade's tweets sparked a row, with one Twitter user posting a picture of a Peppa Pig story book that clearly features several female firefighters, including Mummy Pig.