Children’s programme Paw Patrol has not been cancelled, its makers have said, after the White House press secretary appeared to fall for rumours it had.
Kayleigh McEnany said the show featuring cartoon dogs who run a police department was among programmes and games axed due to “cancel culture”.
But the series swiftly reassured fans that there was “no need to worry”.
A number of police shows in the US have been taken off air following protests against alleged police brutality.
They follow the death of African-American George Floyd while in police custody in May. The US government has also faced criticism over the deployment of federal troops in the city of Portland, Oregon.
What did the press secretary say?
In Friday’s briefing, Ms McEnany said President Donald Trump was opposed to “cancel culture” – a term for when individuals or companies face swift public backlash and boycott over offensive statements or actions – and “specifically as it pertains to cops”.
“We saw a few weeks ago that Paw Patrol, a cartoon show about cops, was cancelled. The show Cops was cancelled, Live PD was cancelled,” she said.
She also repeated a claim – previously tweeted by the president’s former campaign manager Brad Parscale in early June – that toymaker Lego had withdrawn police-themed merchandise.
Lego responded at the time to clarify that none of its sets had been removed from sale.
While the press secretary’s statements about Paw Patrol and Lego merchandise were incorrect, the TV series Cops and Live PD have both been cancelled in recent weeks – although both had faced controversy.
Cops, which had run for more than three decades, had been strongly criticised over its portrayal of policing and the ethics of how it was filmed. The podcast Running With Cops investigated the series last year, and found that many suspects had not given their consent to appear in the show and that the programme misrepresented policing in the US.
Live PD was another US reality TV programme that followed police on patrol. The A&E network paused transmission of the series after George Floyd’s death before cancelling it in June, following reports it had filmed an incident between police and an African-American man, which resulted in his death.
What’s happening in Oregon?
Earlier this week, President Trump said he would send a “surge” of federal agents to three US cities in what he says is a crackdown on crime.
But the deployment of federal troops in Portland, Oregon has caused controversy.
There have been reports that federal officers wearing military fatigues have been driving around in unmarked vehicles and arbitrarily arresting protesters in the city, which has seen daily protests over the death of George Floyd.
Portland’s mayor – who along with the governor of Oregon has called for the troops to leave the city – was tear-gassed during one demonstration on Wednesday.
Thousands of people gathered again to protest on Friday night, before federal agents used tear gas to clear the crowd from outside the city’s courthouse.