Disney and Pixar recently announced the return of Bo Peep with a brand new look for Toy Story 4. Following the announcement People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) demanded Toy Story 4 director Josh Cooley change the character’s new look specifically removing her iconic staff known as a crook.
— Disney•Pixar (@DisneyPixar) January 28, 2019
In a press release from PETA’s Animals in Film and Television manager Lauren Thomasson, the organization demands Toy Story 4 director Josh Cooley to reimagine Bo Peep even more by “retiring her crook.” PETA claims the crook is a “tool historically used to hook lambs by the legs and neck in the wool industry.” They go on to describe the crook as a “symbol of domination.” Thomasson adds in a letter written to Cooley, “these ‘shepherd’s crooks,’ are used solely to hook a sheep’s neck and force these gentle animals to move.”
Thomasson claims “that isn’t something that a progressive Bo Peep would countenance in 2019!” She goes on, “A badass Bo Peep would likely bop the shearers, not the sheep.”
While PETA claims the shepherd’s crook is a “symbol of domination,” those of the Christian faith see the symbol as one of protection. In fact, members of the Roman Catholic, Eastern Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Anglican, and some Lutheran, United Methodist, and Penecostal use a stylized shepherd’s crook known as a crosier. The idea stems from the number of metaphorical references in the Bible as Jesus Christ as the Good Shepherd.
There are a number of depictions of St. Patrick holding a stylized shepherd’s crook.
The shepherd’s crook was also used to defend the sheep and the shepherd from predators. It’s also used to aid the shepherd’s balance when traversing rough terrain.
The main purpose of the shepherd’s crook is to aid the shepherd in managing the sheep and specifically catching them as seen in the video below.
What do you think of PETA’s request? Does it make any sense to change Bo Peep anymore? And if they do would it make it difficult to identify her as Bo Peep at all? Or is PETA just barking up the wrong tree?
Toy Story 4 is set to release June 21st 2019.