Life & Society

Channel 5 removes episode of Fireman Sam over Koran scene

Mattel – Mattel said the page was intended to show illegible text.

An episode of the children’s programme Fireman Sam which appeared to show pages of the Koran being trampled on has been removed by Channel 5 from its online streaming service.

The company which produces the programme, HIT Entertainment, has issued an unreserved apology and is cancelling its contract with the Chinese animation studio responsible for making the bizarre scenes.

In the programme aired on 28 June some papers are being sorted on the floor of a fire station. At one point, a character carrying hot drinks slips and papers fly into the air with at least one appearing to to be from the Islamic holy book.

The scenes – in episode seven, series nine of the popular programme entitled ‘Troubled Waters’ – were highlighted by a member of the public and condemned by Miqdaad Versi, the Assistant Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, who wrote on Twitter: “[I] have no idea what went through the producers’ minds when they thought this was a good idea.”

Versi identified one page as containing verses 13 to 26 of chapter 67 of the Koran, which concern matters such as the origins of existence, and punishments for non-believers.

HIT Entertainment, which also produces Thomas the Tank Engine and Bob the Builder, said in a statement that the pages were meant to be illegible, implying that someone at the Chinese studio had inserted the page from the Koran.

“It has been brought to our attention that in an episode of Fireman Sam an image of the Quran is briefly depicted,” the statement said. “The page was intended to show illegible text and we deeply regret this error. 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.”

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