Bluey fans criticize controversial article saying Bandit is a ‘bad dad’

It’s one of the most loved kids’ shows on the planet, but a new article has caused an uproar by criticizing one of Bluey’s most popular characters.

Bluey has taken the world by storm, and the cute Australian cartoon has attracted legions of fans over the years.

Launched in 2018 on ABC, the show follows Blue Heeler puppy Bluey, her younger sister Bingo, their father, Bandita, and mother Chili, and has won millions of viewers over three seasons, including Natalie Portman and Ryan Gosling.

But write for Talk recently, David Burton and Keith Cantrell of the University of South Queensland took aim at the beloved Bandit character, who was awarded Father of the Year in 2019, and caused backlash in the process.

In the article, lecturers claim that this likable character has a “dark side” and lash out at his stereotypical “Larrick” personality, implying that he was a bad father.

“In one episode, Bandit keeps Bluey from the finish line so he can win the obstacle course. In another, he praises the victory over his younger brother, Stripe, taunting that “big brothers always beat little brothers” – a taunt that Bluey imitates when he teases Bingo, “Big sisters always beat little sisters. So it is,” the article says.

“Even the name Bandit conjures up the petty crimes of the bushrangers, Australia’s revered outlaws who have also achieved a kind of twisted folk hero status.

“Sometimes, though, we get a glimpse of the Bandit’s darker side, when his playful teasing of his young daughters sometimes escalates into bullying.”

The writers also criticize the fact that Bandit is being praised for his parenting prowess while Mama Chili is “figuratively and literally in the background”.

Unsurprisingly, the hot look pissed off fans of Australia’s most beloved dog dad, and a slew of social media users lambasted the article.

“We are doomed as a species and we are psychoanalyzing the Bandit…,” wrote one Twitter user, while another wrote: “This essay criticizes the Bluey Bandit (cartoon dad/dog) for being “a reductive stereotype of the Australian larrikin. If yes, is this a problem? I doubt many men will know how to deal with Bluey.”

“Why are we analyzing a children’s cartoon show? In our time, there are more serious problems that need to be analyzed. By the way, I love Bluey as an adult, it’s very similar to how a thug and chili cope with everyday life, and how bluey and bingo try to navigate it as a child. Lots of lessons in this,” wrote another.

“It’s time of year again. That’s right, time to cancel Bandit from Bluey,” wrote another.

There was a similar story on Facebook, which generated hundreds of comments critical of the article.

“Trash. The writer clearly hasn’t watched enough episodes of Bluey. There are significant nuances to his character and he’s generally quite self-deprecating about his ‘Larrick’ character,” wrote one Facebook user, while another added: “If you go after Bandit, you will follow all of us.”

However, there were some who agreed with the essay’s argument, including reporter Ginger Gorman, who agreed that the program “plays the stereotype that dads can’t be trusted to ‘baby’ their kids.”

The show won a Children’s Emmy in 2019 for the episode “Bedtime” and later won Best Animated Series at the 2021 Critics Choice Awards.

It has become so popular all over the world that some American parents have even claimed that their children have developed an Australian accent after watching the show regularly.

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