Over the last week, parents in the USA have been panicking after word spread that cable channel Disney Junior’s very popular show “Doc McStuffins” would not be renewed for a fifth season.
Though the fourth season of the show begins on July 30, it was feared that the upcoming season would be the last for the series, which follows the adventures of Doc, a 6-year-old black girl who heals stuffed animals and toys in her backyard hospital.
Needless to say, many parents especially looking for positive young black women images on TV, were upset at the possibility that the show was coming to an end. It apparently begun when comedian W. Kamau Bell tweeted the following to his followers after hearing of the show’s alleged impending demise: “Seriously, if you love #DocMcStuffins as much as my family, tell @DisneyJunior to #RenewDocMcStuffins!”
He followed that up with an article he wrote for the LA Review of Books website in which he asked: “How many other children’s TV shows have a black female lead character? Hint: The answer is ‘not nearly enough.’”
The clarion call to save the show was followed by several other parents and celebrities such as actress Holly Robinson Peete who tweeted: “Because I wish I had a show like this to watch as a little girl…”; and Broadway star Audra McDonald who tweeted: “Doc McStuffins is at the top of a short list of shows I plan 2 show my little one. #RenewDocMcStuffins Representation matters.”
The executive producer and one of the writers for “McStuffins,” Chris Nee, admitted that the show had not received a renewal for a fifth season and she expressed her gratitude: “Wow can’t believe what’s happening. Creating Doc McStuffins has been the greatest joy of my life. Thank you @wkamaubell #RenewDocMcStuffins.”
Well it turns out that all the tweets and all the concerns by parents may have had some impact, since Disney Junior tweeted the following in response:
— Disney Junior (@DisneyJunior) July 3, 2016
Whether or not that means the show will be renewed for a fifth season next year isn’t clear. But the message is hopeful. It should also help that the show broke ratings records to become the No. 1 preschool series on cable TV when it premiered in 2012. Season 4 kicks off in a few weeks. After that, we’ll see.