There are apologies; there are grovelling apologies; and then there’s the kind of hair-shirt, mea culpa, “oh God, oh God, how can we ever make amends?”, self-abasing, crawling-to-beg-your-forgiveness-on-our-knees-on-broken-glass number just delivered by the toymaker behind TV kiddie animation series Fireman Sam to the entire Muslim community…
A spokeswoman for the multinational firm Mattel, which owns the show’s makers Hit Entertainment, said ‘It has been brought to our attention that in an episode of Fireman Sam (Series 9, Episode 7), an image of the Quran is briefly depicted.
‘The page was intended to show illegible text and we deeply regret this error. We sincerely apologise for any distress or offense it may have caused.
‘We will no longer be working with the animation studio responsible for this mistake.
‘In addition, we are taking immediate action to remove this episode from circulation and we are reviewing our content production procedures to ensure this never happens again.
‘Again, we apologise unreservedly to our viewers.’
Nice job, Mattel. Short of promising to go in and personally execute every last person in the Chinese animation studio responsible for the error, it’s hard to imagine what more the toy company could have done to make amends. A still from the cartoon appears below:
Actually, no, wait, I can. What Mattel should have said – because let’s face it, this was what their statement actually meant – was: “Please don’t kill us. We want you to know that we are all totally shitting our pants about this incident and we want you to realise that there are many, many better targets out there for your savage violence. Jews, for example, why don’t you kill them because you really hate them, don’t you? Or, better still, some Yezidis – if there are any left. Or Christians. Or alcohol sellers. Or football players. Or apostates. Or kite-flyers. Or, well, anyone but us, really…”
It’s OK, Mattel. Everyone sees where you’re coming from. Everyone is feeling exactly the same way right now.
Sucks, doesn’t it?