NYT Critic Takes Aim at Kids’ Shows ‘Bluey’ and ‘Chip Chilla’ for Having ‘Weirdly Present’ Fathers

December 20th, 2023 1:46 PM

Popular kids cartoon Bluey and the Daily Wire’s Chip Chilla are in the crosshairs of a New York Times writer for apparently having ‘weirdly present’ fathers. 

You can’t make this stuff up.

Critic Amanda Hess wrote a piece for the outlet headlined, "The Fantasy of the Fun TV Dad."

She pondered how Bandit, the ‘exceptional’ father in Bluey, has time to be a fun dad while holding a job and still having time to cheerfully do house chores, including laundry. LOL:

I don’t know how he keeps house, works as an archaeologist and serves as a full-time prop artist to his daughters, but he does it all while only feigning complaint. He is not only a good father — he is a fantasy, one crafted to appeal to adults as much as to children.

She later alluded to the guilt some parents might feel, including herself for turning on cartoons which features attentive parents while they catch up on work or house chores.

After all, when I turn on “Bluey,” I am being very un-Bandit — I am not engaged in focused play that follows my child’s imagination wherever it leads. I am cleaning. My son is staring at a screen.



This isn’t the first time the liberal media and some on the left have gone after Bluey. In 2021, an ABC journalist went after the Australian children’s show for the ‘lack of diversity.’

Hess went on to share similar views about Chip Chilla, which streams on the Daily Wire’s platform Bentkey and is a conservative children’s entertainment company. She described ‘Chum Chum,’ the father character, as a ‘highly involved jokester’ who also doesn’t work a lot.



But what really set the two apart, in her words, were the history lessons "about dead white people" and the "male authority" presented in Chip Chilla:

With “Chip Chilla,” conservative parents can fulfill a fantasy of their own, combating the perceived indoctrination of public school by screening home-school-themed content afterward, featuring lessons about dead white people and classic texts. In “Bluey,” the puppies lead the games, but in “Chip Chilla,” it is the dad who is in charge, directing his compliant kids to role-play “Moby-Dick” and the fall of the Roman Empire. I suspect that Bentkey made Chum Chum the schoolteacher not because it’s a modern choice, but because it puts male authority at the center of the show.

Because a little American history and a show with family values is bad? 

Daily Wire co-founder Jeremy Boreing reacted to the criticism of both shows on X, and he was having none of it:


There are two kids shows that stand out to the @nytimes as problematic: Bentkey’s Chip Chilla and Bluey. And what’s so problematic? “Weirdly present” fathers. Both fathers are derided as a “fantasy” for being so active and engaged with their children but, according to NYT, Chip Chilla is the far more offensive of the two because Chum Chum teaches “lessons about dead white people” (read: George Washington, Ben Franklin, Neil Armstrong, etc.) and leads his kids in fun games and lessons as a way of establishing “male authority.” Chip Chilla is the most popular show on our new Bentkey platform, and Bluey is the most popular children’s show period. It’s no coincidence that two shows that feature loving and engaged nuclear families with great values who actually enjoy being together are so popular. And it’s no coincidence that the cultural gatekeepers at the NYT have them both in their crosshairs. The left not only wants to add its radical agenda to kids entertainment, they want to remove good values from kids entertainment. Our culture has fallen so far and at times it might seem hopeless. Bentkey isn’t anywhere near the level of size and influence of the NYTs and Disneys of the world, but we created it because we have hope and believe our best days are ahead of us, and that the only way we can take back the culture from the left is by building something better.

He's not wrong. Many in the liberal media have made it a habit to go after anything that promotes family values while cheering on questionable content for children, such as the Blues Clues episode that featured a drag queen 'pride parade' sing-along.