Rastamouse 一只引起争议的老鼠

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In the UK a tiny animal has kicked off a big debate.

'Rastamouse' is a much talked-about new animated BBC children's show. The star of the programme is a cute Rastafarian mouse who, together with his reggae band, solves crimes.

The show has caused a stir with viewers of all ages. Its humour has won it many devoted adult followers and it has been praised for its educational value.

Rastamouse

Rastamouse likes skateboarding and loves music.

But it is the way Rastamouse and his band – Da Easy Crew – speak that has put the cat among the pigeons. The characters talk in a Caribbean English patois. For example, Rastamouse's motto is "makin' a bad ting (thing) good". The characters greet each other by saying "Wagwan!" (What's going on?).

For many, it's part of the show's appeal. But some parents have complained that it is encouraging the use of slang amongst their children. Other viewers feel that the mice are stereotyped or condescending versions of Rastafarians. Around 190 complaints have been submitted to the BBC.

The show's creators – one of whom is himself a Rastafarian – insist that no offence was intended and the BBC has defended the show for its "compelling stories, great music and positive messages".

The backlash hasn't halted Rastamouse's progress. He has already released a single – Ice Popp – and an album is also planned.

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