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HBO Max cartoon criticized for mocking 8-year-old Prince George: 'Children are off limits'

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A new animated series parodying the royal family is being criticized for its "inappropriate" and "disrespectful" take on Prince George.

HBO Max released a surprise trailer Wednesday for "The Prince," which provides a satirical glimpse into the imagined royal family through the eyes of Prince George, voiced by the show's creator, Gary Janetti ("Family Guy"). The 12-episode series (now streaming) also features Orlando Bloom as Prince Harry and Sophie Turner as Princess Charlotte.

Kensington Palace declined to comment.

The series is the latest effort to mock the 8-year-old royal, who recently received unkind internet comments about his Euro 2020 finals outfit: a striped red and blue tie with a blazer, which sparked pity for dressing up for a soccer match while the rest of the stadium donned jerseys and T-shirts.

HBO Max's "The Prince" is a satirical take about the imagined Royal Family through the lens of Prince George (voiced by Gary Janetti).
HBO Max's "The Prince" is a satirical take about the imagined Royal Family through the lens of Prince George (voiced by Gary Janetti).

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Social media users reacting to the trailer criticized the show's insensitive portrayal of the young son of Prince William and Duchess Kate (who are voiced in the show by Iwan Rheon and Lucy Punch), who is depicted as bratty and spoiled, obsessed with Kelly Ripa, demanding "tea that doesn't taste like" urine and calling Queen Elizabeth a "bad (expletive)."

"Using a child like this is disgusting. Who on earth gave this the green light?" user @prince_scarf wrote.

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Others argued that making fun of children should be "off limits" in any parody. Prince George's parents have even been careful in doling out snapshots of their children, in part to protect their privacy as they grow up.

"This is inappropriate. And disrespectful. The children are all innocent and should be off limits! This should be pulled and never viewed," user @michele620 added.

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"No no no no. The adults of the royal family, fine do whatever you like I guess. But George & the other royal children should be off limits," user @ScatterBrainUK

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Another user urged that the show "could be subjecting real children to bullying and harassment" – concerns that Prince William has campaigned against with his Task Force on the Prevention of Cyberbullying, launched in 2016. He and Duchess Kate have made it a focus of their charitable work, creating a mental health-focused text messaging service Shout with Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan in 2019, and donating money to support the mental health of frontline workers and others affected by the pandemic.

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"Leave children out of this," user @flyingboomerang wrote. "Do better and stop profiting from children in this way."

"Imagine bullying a 8 year old as a form of entertainment. I can't imagine any other 8 year old being mocked this way. Shame on you," user @for_astrology added.

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Some suggested that the backlash could have been avoided by creating a fictional royal family instead, especially after Duchess Meghan cited "toxic" media scrutiny as a major reason for her and Prince Harry's royal exit last year.

"This looks super uncomfortable simply because it is based on the real-life family… This is going to be huge dumpster fire," user @nio_tio wrote.

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Paul Anderson, Samuel Barnett, and Sacha Dhawan serve as various guest voices in the series, and Andy Cohen, Brad Goreski, Kelly Ripa and "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" stars Garcelle Beuavais, Erika Jayne, Dorit Kemsley, Teddi Mellencamp, Kyle Richards and Lisa Rinna star as themselves.

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Contributing: Hannah Yasharoff

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Prince George: HBO Max satirical cartoon 'The Prince' criticized

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