The UK satire show Spitting Image has explained its reasons for including a puppet of teen climate activist Greta Thunberg in its new series, following a fierce backlash from politically correct keyboard warriors.

The political satire show ran for a period of 12 years before wrapping up in 1996. It’s set to return on the BritBox streaming service in the coming days, but before even a single episode has aired the program is being attacked by the ever-ready online outrage brigade. 

The show uses puppet caricatures to mock prominent people and, after a photo of the Pitting Image Thunberg puppet was released, critics argued that the 17 year-old climate crusader should be exempt from being lampooned because she’s young and has autism.

The makers of the show have now addressed the controversy, saying that the Swedish teen was fair game and the puppet would mention the topic of climate change in the show. 

“It’s a very straightforward joke and is nothing to do with her as an individual,” group director of streaming video on demand at ITV, Reemah Sakaan, told the Broadcasting Press Guild.

A spokesperson for BritBox also noted that Thunberg had ‘liked’ the picture of her puppet on Twitter after it was revealed last week. So, the teenager appeared to be more adept at taking a joke than the legion of defenders who took offense on her behalf.

One of the show’s creators, Roger Law, has insisted that the new series will skewer people from across the political spectrum, explaining that there’s “no fun” in only targeting right-wing figures. “There’s lots of ammunition to throw at the other side as well. You go for them all,” he said.

As well as Thunberg, Russian President Vladimir Putin, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, US President Donald Trump, ex-royals Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, Elon Musk and Beyonce are among those who will be given the Spitting Image puppet parody treatment.

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