As seen onFavicon for

A week on the web: Pandagate

The BBC walked into another bear trap this week when it named a panda as one of its women ‘faces of the year’ - the perfect conditions for a Twitter storm…


  1. What is it with the BBC and bears? First, there was the ‘faked’ scene in Frozen Planet involving the polar variety (not that it was really faked). Then this week, a panda was included on its women ‘faces of the year 2011’ list - namely Tian Tian (or Sweetie), one of the two giant pandas currently on loan to Edinburgh zoo from China. 


    This may be the season of good will, but that didn’t stop Twitter getting angry - an anger which has been simmering ever since the announcement of the all-male Sports Personality of the Year shortlist.

  2. It wasn’t long before John Prescott showed his feminist side.
  3. It’s certainly not the first time. Last year it was Peppa Pig, proving you don’t even need to be human to make the cut, and an animal appeared on the men’s list in 2009 in the shape of a very large fish. 
  4. Good thing hardly anyone noticed that Benson the carp is, in fact, a she.
  5. The BBC wasn’t entirely bereft of support.
  6. Arguably, the bigger issue with the list wasn’t the presence of a panda – it’s why the humans were chosen (the women being Gabrielle Giffords, Adele, Eman al-Obeidi, Sarah Burton, Nafissatou Diallo, Jelena Lecic, Princess Charlene, Pauline Pearce, Rebecca Leighton, the Duchess of Alba and Corporal Kelsey de Santi). 
  7. All perfectly valid points. This is a complex debate.