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Hundreds of parents change plots of classic fairytales because they are politically incorrect, study claims

One in four admitted to changing plot lines

Olivia Petter
Friday 11 May 2018 15:06
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Parents are changing the plots of classic fairytales when reading them aloud because of violence and political incorrectness, a new survey has found.

Traditional fables such as Little Red Riding Hood, The Gingerbread Man and The Three Little Pigs were deemed the worst offenders, with parents likening some of their endings to horror films.

The poll, which was commissioned by musicMagpie, included 2,000 parents and revealed that one in four took creative liberties when sharing fairytales with their children to suit their beliefs and ideologies.

Meanwhile, another 16 per cent confessed to banning them altogether.

While these classic tales might seem playful and innocent on the surface, a closer look at the plot lines and characters reveals some problematic traits.

For example, in Little Red Riding Hood, the child is eaten alive by a wolf, only to be saved by a hunter who cuts her out of the animal’s stomach with an axe.

The Three Little Pigs also reaches a rather gory conclusion, with the pigs murdering a wolf and eating it.

Lest we forget The Gingerbread Man, whose protagonist is also eaten by a fox.

Biscuit or not, it’s an ending that’s hard for parents to swallow, with one in three labelling it as “too cruel” in the survey.

However, deeper analysis into some of the nation’s most popular tales unveiled even further issues with regards to political correctness.

One in four parents found it inappropriate that Cinderella has to do all of the cleaning in her home while another 25 per cent argued that Sleeping Beauty poses a consent issue, given that Prince Charming kisses the princess while she is asleep.

Meanwhile, 27 per cent believe that Pinocchio encourages children to tell lies while one in four claim that The Ugly Duckling, in which an abused duckling is only accepted by society after he has grown into a swan, advocates body-shaming.

Some of these stories have been around for generations – many would have been read to mums and dads when they were children,” explained Liam Howley, marketing director at musicMagpie.

“But times have changed and there are many elements to these classic tales which for some don’t really fit into society as they once did.

“Not only that, but when you think about the storylines, some can be considered very scary for little children.”

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