Confused parents swarmed various social media channels to investigate why Stevin John, the actor and entrepreneur who has played Blippi on the eponymous YouTube channel since its launch in 2014, was replaced by another actor in a new video.
Stevin created Blippi to provide edutainment for kids aged 2 to 7. Over the years, he amassed 12.4 million subscribers, and, for many, he has become practically indistinguishable from Blippi. What happened?
Blippi was replaced by another actor in a new video.
A new actor stepped into Blippi's shoes in a recent video uploaded to the Blippi channel on May 8, 2021. Despite his infectious enthusiasm and charismatic personality, the new Blippi left many viewers feeling confused.
Dozens of parents headed to social media to express their disappointment and point out that their kids, no matter how young, have spotted the continuity issue.
"Did they not think my extremely observant 4-year-old would notice a different dude playing #blippi?" tweeted @Bobby_Dawson.
"Oh, our oldest was way into his videos. But like ... did they think kids just wouldn't notice it's a whole different person? That's crazy," wrote @carolinetweeted.
Several complaints address the lack of sufficient warning about the casting decision. But a post shared by Blippi's official Instagram account on May 8, 2021, mentions the changes.
"Due to popular demand, we are bringing more Blippi from The Live Show to you all! Don't miss the launch of Learn With Blippi tomorrow on Blippi's YouTube channel. Who's ready!?" reads the caption.
Blippi came under scrutiny for similar reasons a few years ago.
A similar scandal broke out after the premiere of The Live Show. Instead of Stevin, to whom many of his younger viewers appear to have developed a sense of attachment, another actor was hired to portray Blippi in The Live Show.
As parents like Angelina Sakowski told BuzzFeed News in 2019, the creators ostensibly failed to provide sufficient information on the cast of The Live Show. As she said, she bought a ticket without reading the fine print, only to realize that Stevin wasn't starring in The Live Show.
So, is Blippi going to be replaced?
There's some confusion surrounding Stevin's latest plans. According to HITC, the casting changes might be temporary — and he could easily return to his YouTube channel soon.
But a recent comment posted by Blippi's Instagram page paints a different picture. According to the comment, Stevin will continue to appear in various Blippi-related media, but he will play a less significant role in the YouTube videos.
"Stevin, the current Blippi, is not going anywhere! He will continue to play Blippi across a range of platforms and media. We are however adding a new Blippi to perform on the new YouTube show!" Blippi's Instagram account wrote in response to the flurry of confused comments.
What's there to know about the new Blippi?
The actor wasn't credited on the latest video, "Blippi Visits an Outdoor Adventure Park." Judging by the Instagram post to Blippi's official page shared on May 8, 2021, he is likely the same actor who played Blippi in The Live Show.
At present, it's not fully certain who will appear in Blippi the Musical, which is set to resume in July 2021.