The National Rifle Association (NRA) criticized the children's television show "Thomas & Friends" for diversifying its characters by depicting its cast in Ku Klux Klan hoods.

In the segment, which aired Friday, NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch criticized the show for adding new characters, including a train named Nia from Kenya.


Loesch argued that the show doesn't need ethnic diversity, saying that the show “literally has no ethnicities because they're trains.”

“I mean, I’m looking at this picture and I’m really, really struggling to understand how in the world there isn’t any diversity in any of this,” she said on “Relentless,” the NRA TV program she hosts. The image was then put on the screen, depicting three trains in KKK hoods and burning train tracks in the background.

“It was the white hoods,” Loesch said. “And the burning train tracks. OK, fine, fair point. Fair. I get it. Thomas the Tank Engine has been a blight on race relations for far too long. Clearly this is overdue. Right?”

Mattel, which owns the Thomas the Tank Engine brand, told The New York Times that it has “always been a priority” for company to promote inclusivity. 

“We are not associated with images that promote hate and denounce any images of our brands that are being used to convey a message not in line with the values of the company,” the company said. 

“Thomas & Friends” announced its new characters on Friday as part of a collaboration with the United Nations.

The NRA did not immediately respond to the Times's request for comment.