Panda bears are sweet and cute and all, but was there not another human female face the BBC could have chosen as one of their top 12 of 2011? That’s what some observers are asking in response to the annual list from Britain’s largest broadcaster.
Tian Tian, or Sweetie, is a female panda who is on loan at the Edinburgh Zoo from China. Her addition to top female faces was meant as a “light-hearted addition to the list,” the BBC said in a statement, according to Reuters (via Yahoo Shine).
Some were not tickled by the addition. Tian Tian’s appearance on the list comes after a woman also didn’t make it on the shortlist list of Sports Personality of the Year by the BBC.
“So the BBC couldn’t find a woman for Sports Personality of the Year, but they could find a panda for a female face of 2011,” wrote deputy Prime Minister John Prescott.
“No offence to Sweetie — sure a lovely panda and best in the class etc — but clue is in the title ‘women’ not ‘female of the species’ of the year,” said Labour MP Stella Creasy in a Tweet.
In their defense, the BBC said this is not the first time an animal has appeared on their “Faces of the Year” list. A fish once made it on the male list, and a pig was previously present on the female list.