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Paw Patrol spin-off introduces the show’s first non-binary character

"I’m so so happy about how it turned out," non-binary writer Lindz Amer shared

By Emily Maskell

Rubble & Crew's River surrounded by dogs
Rubble & Crew welcomes a non-binay character. (Image: Nickelodeon)

The Paw Patrol spin-off, Rubble & Crew, has welcomed its first non-binary character.

The animated series follows 5-year-old bulldog Rubble helping construction projects in Builder Cove.

Non-binary character River is welcomed to the show in their debut episode titled ‘The Crew Builds an Observatory.’

River is introduced via their love of skateboarding and also photography. Additionally, they have just moved to Builder Cover with their family.

In the episode, directed by Dianna Basso, the pups jump to help River get a picture of a shooting star. They decide to build an observatory to help River’s photography goals.

Though River’s non-binary identity isn’t voiced in the kid’s show. However, there are some references that indicate River’s identity.

River stands on a skateboard wearing socks and shoes with white, blue and pink stripes. The colour combination is the same as the trans flag. 

The character was written by non-binary author and activist Lindz Amer, who confirmed the character’s non-binary identity. 

Amer posted about the character on Instagram, sharing that the Paw Patrol franchise crew borough them on to consult on the first non-binary character.

“I wanted to write a nonbinary character that was aspirational and incredibly cool”

“I wanted to write a nonbinary character that was aspirational and incredibly cool, someone for the pups (and kids at home) to look up to,” they also explained.

“They found an awesome non-binary actor to voice River and I’m so so happy about how it turned out.”

Cihang Ma, a Chinese-Canadian non-binary actor, voiced River. Ma is set to star in the upcoming The Boys spinoff, Gen V.

Some individuals weren’t happy with the arrival of River and took to social media to voice their hatred.

One user stated that “Paw Patrol has gone woke.”

They also claimed that: “Lindz runs the Queer Kids Stuff YouTube channel that indoctrinates kids into the trans ideology.”

However, with this non-binary representation broadcasted to children and their parents nationally, there’s hope acceptance will be the main takeaway.