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Denmark’s national broadcaster launches CHILDREN’s cartoon about a man with the ‘world’s longest manhood’ who uses it to steal ice-cream, fly like a helicopter and light a BBQ
- ‘John Dillermand’ literally translates to ‘John Penis Man’ in Danish slang
- Animation made its debut on children’s channel DR Ramasjang on January 2
- Sparked debate over what’s appropriate for kids aged 4-8 – the target audience
A bizarre new children’s cartoon has launched in Denmark which tells the story of a chap with the ‘world’s largest penis’.
John Dillermand – which literally translates to ‘penis man’ in Danish slang – follows the adventures of its eponymous character who performs impressive feats with his member.
From rescue missions and taming lines to flying like a helicopter, lighting barbecues and stealing ice-cream from unsuspecting kids, there is indeed ‘almost nothing he can’t do with it’, as is explained in the show’s theme song.
At one point, in a scene reminiscent of the film Up, he finds himself floating in the air over the town thanks to a set of colourful balloons tied to his tackle.
The animation made its debut on children’s channel DR Ramasjang on January 2, but perhaps unsurprisingly received mixed reviews from viewers.
The first of the 13 episodes has been watched more than 140,000 times, and sparked debate over what is appropriate for children aged four to eight – the show’s target audience.
Danish public broadcaster DR, the country’s equivalent of the BBC, defended its cartoon, writing on Facebook on Tuesday: ‘We think it’s important to be able to tell stories about bodies.
‘In the series, we recognise (young children’s) growing curiosity about their bodies and genitals, as well as embarrassment and pleasure in the body.’
However, some opponents claimed the idea of a man who is unable to control his penis, months after TV presenter Sofie Linde kickstarted Denmark’s #MeToo movement, is ill-judged.
Danish author Anne Lise Marstrand-Jørgensen commented: ‘Is this really the message we want to send to children while we are in the middle of a huge #MeToo wave?’
Christian Groes, an associate professor and gender researcher at Roskilde University, agreed, claiming the show’s celebration of the power of male genitalia could only set equality back, reports the Guardian.
‘It’s perpetuating the standard idea of a patriarchal society and normalising “locker room culture”… that’s been used to excuse a lot of bad behaviour from men.
‘It’s meant to be funny – so it’s seen as harmless. But it’s not. And we’re teaching this to our kids.’
MP Morten Messerschmidt, a member of the Danish People’s Party, raged: ‘I don’t think looking at adult men’s genitalia should be turned into something normal for children. Is this what you call public service?’
Morten Skov Hansen, head of DR Ramasjang, responded: ‘We want to stay out of that [#MeToo].
‘The series is made for our target audience, consisting of children aged 4-8 and it must be at their level. The series is not about sexualising the body.’
Education expert Sophie Munster told AFP: ‘It’s a very Danish show. We have a tradition to push the limits and use humour and we think it’s totally normal.
‘The debate is from an adult perspective, in which the long penis is sexualised. Children have a different perspective.
‘The size of the penis is exaggerated so much, children realise it’s a joke.’
And Erla Heinesen Højsted, a clinical psychologist who works with families and children, said parents may be overreacting.
‘John Dillermand talks to children and shares their way of thinking – and kids do find genitals funny,’ she said.
‘The show depicts a man who is impulsive and not always in control, who makes mistakes – like kids do, but crucially, Dillermand always makes it right.
‘He takes responsibility for his actions. When a woman in the show tells him that he should keep his penis in his pants, for instance, he listens. Which is nice. He is accountable.’
DR does have a reputation for pushing boundaries, particularly for children. Its show Onkel Reje features a character who swears, smokes a pipe and refuses to take baths.