Voice of gay icon Peppa Pig to step down after 13 years in the role
British actor Harley Bird is leaving Peppa Pig after 13 years voicing the gay icon.
Bird, 18, has voiced the cartoon character since she was five.
She said: “Becoming the voice of Peppa Pig at the age of five was the start of an incredible journey, and I’ll never forget my time on the show.”
She will be replaced by Amelie Bea Smith, nine, who is the fourth young actor to take on voicing the children’s favourite.
Peppa Pig co-creators Neville Astley and Mark Baker said: “As our longest-standing Peppa, Harley’s award-winning contribution to the show over the past 13 years has been tremendous, making her a key part of the success of Peppa Pig.”
Harley Bird sung on the character’s first album, released last summer – which was what cemented the pig’s status as a queer icon.
Peppa Pig: Gay icon.
The queer seal of approval came following the release of Peppa’s debut album on July 19, 2019—a 16-track, feel-good record crammed with uplifting bangers.
It all kicked off when Australian rapper Iggy Azalea tweeted that the cute pig’s record clashed with the release date of her second album, In My Defense.
“It’s over for me now,” Iggy Azalea wrote on July 16.
LGBT+ social media fans quickly jumped on Peppa’s oink-heavy record—called My First Album—on release day, citing the many ways that her music resonates with the queer community.
“Peppa Pig said gay rights,” said one person, alongside a screenshot of the aptly-named song ‘Rainbow,Rainbow’ on My First Album.
Fans previously called for LGBT+ representation on the show.
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The release of Peppa’s debut album came after more than 17,000 people demanded the show’s producers introduce a family with gay parents.
“Children watching Peppa Pig are at an impressionable age, and excluding same-sex families will teach them that only families with either a single parent or two parents of different sexes are normal,” the petition’s creators, Beth G and Lacey K, said.
“This means that children of same-sex parents may feel alienated by Peppa Pig, and that other children may be more likely to bully them, simply through ignorance.”
The show first aired in 2004.
Bird began voicing the cartoon character for the third series in 2007, and has appeared in 185 episodes of the show.
It’s available in more than 40 languages in more than 180 countries.