(The Clarion-Ledger) -- Children's cartoon network The Hub is debuting a new cartoon that is
bending gender roles in what some are calling the introduction of the
first cross-dressing superhero.
SheZow is a
crime-fighting super heroine whose alter-ego is a 12-year-old boy named
Guy. When trouble erupts, Guy uses a magic ring and the catch phrase,
"You go girl!," to transform into SheZow.
"When I first
heard about the show, my reaction was 'Are you out of your minds?'" Hub
CEO Margaret Loesch to The Los Angeles Times. "Then I looked at it and I
thought, 'This is just funny.'"
The cartoon is not new, however. It debuted on Canadian and Australian TV in December.
Ben Shapiro of Breitbart News took umbrage with the new show and Loesch's comments.
"Nothing says 'child-appropriate material' quite like gender-bending underage superheroes," he wrote.
A spokesman for GLAAD called Shapiro's comments "laughable."
"This Breitbart News article is just a laughable attempt at attention
seeking, comparable to Jerry Falwell attacking the Teletubbies, and
demonstrates a profound ignorance of transgender people since this show
doesn't include any," said GLAAD's Rich Ferraro.
which is co-owned by Discovery and Hasbro, is trying to better position
itself to compete with Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network and The Disney
Channel. The LA Times reports that The Hub has "barely registered a blip
in the highly competitive kids' TV marketplace."
to Nielsen rankings, The Hub averages 56,000 daily viewers among ages 2
to 11, compared to more than 930,000 for Disney and Nickelodeon among
the same ages.
"Obviously they have not grown as fast as
we'd hoped," Darcy Bowe, a media director at Starcom, an advertising
firm whose clients include kid-friendly brands, told The Times. "They
have a long way to go.