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Tian Tian Sweetie

December 30, 2011 by staff 

Tian Tian Sweetie, The BBC has provoked a furious backlash for including a panda on its list of female ‘Faces of the Year 2011,’ The Guardian reports. Tian Tian (aka Sweetie), who arrived at Edinburgh zoo from China, was the final choice in a list that included U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and Eman al-Obeidi, the defiant victim of the Gadhafi regime in Libya.

The men’s list included only humans, like Colin Firth and Herman Cain, but not Yang Guang, the male panda who arrived with Tian Tian. The Guardian says the uproar was stoked by the fact that the BBC failed to nominate a woman on the 10-person — well, 10-man– short list for ‘Sports Personality of the Year’ award.

Critics have also noted that four of the women on the list, such as Pippa Middleton, were involved in marriages.

One critic, Labour MP Stella Creasy, says everyone likes a good panda story, but that it was “frustrating” to include Sweetie but not new IMF head Christine Lagarde, Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt or even singer Amy Winehouse.

The BBC’s response:

Including Sweetie as one for the annual headline makers was a light-hearted addition to the list, and this isn’t the first time it has featured a non-human. In 2009, Benson the Carp, a much-caught giant fish, was August’s entry on the male list and last year Peppa the Pig was on the female list for April [2010].

Giles Wilson, features editor of the BBC News website, added this:

One thing is at least clearer today. If Tian Tian hadn’t justified her place on the list of newsmakers based on her arrival in Edinburgh, she would have done after this.

Report to Team

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