The National Rifle Association is renowned for its brash and strange social media tactics, but this latest move might be its strangest - and most offensive - yet.
Viewers of the gun rights group’s online video channel “Relentless” saw spokeswoman Dana Loesch taking Thomas the Tank Engine to task for daring to diversify its cast. Yes, really.
Responding to news that the children’s show was adding several female and international characters, she said:
They’ve decided that the next stop is Virtue Town.
The segment echoed complaints by some that the additions amounted to "politically correctness" gone mad. But it also perplexed others who wondered why the NRA is getting involved in such an obscure topic.
Even more bizarrely, the segment then showed an image of the trains from the show dressed up in KKK hoods. Mocking the diversification, Loesch said sarcastically:
Fair, I get it. Thomas the Tank Engine has been a blight on race relations for far too long.
Mattel, the company that owns the Thomas the Tank Engine brand, said it had “always been a priority” for the company to promote inclusivity. It said:
We are not associated with images that promote hate and denounce any images of our brands that are being used to convey a message not in line with the values of the company.
Social media reacted with a mixture of mockery and awe at the NRA’s bizarre take on the children’s program.
Such a hateful nightmare they are. We are all so exhausted by dumb, vicious people. Vote in November. Let’s enjo… https://t.co/fRtQ2mrzo3