Former firefighter Lucy Masoud has said the creators of Peppa Pig were “lazy” for using the term “fireman” in an episode.
The children’s cartoon came under fire from the London Fire Brigade for referring to a female character dressed as a firefighter as a “fireman”.
Speaking to talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer, Fire Brigade Union Treasurer Ms Masoud said it was “irritating” when people used the term.
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Ms Masoud said: “We have been firefighters across the UK for the past 25 years so it is slightly irritating when people call us firemen.
“It is just lazy not to call us firefighters.”
'Girls should know they can be firefighters'
The London Fire Brigade criticised the programme as part of its “Fighting Fire Sexism” campaign.
Currently around seven per cent of firefighters in the London Fire Brigade are female, with fire chiefs calling on more to be done to encourage women to join the service.
Ms Masoud said the use of "fireman" by Peppa Pig could lead to a problematic perception of firefighters for children.
She added: “Nothing was going to stop me from becoming a firefighter but it is about giving the right perception of what a firefighter is.
“Children should have the option and know that you can be a firefighter if you’re a man or a woman.”