The hit children’s TV show Peppa Pig is under fire again, after upsetting Australian viewers following one of its episodes where they shared that spiders are “very, very small” and “can’t hurt you”.
“Mister Skinny Legs”, the controversial episode written in 2004, is about Peppa becoming friends with an enormous spider and facing her fears. Peppa’s dad encourages her to befriend the spider and she is later seen playing with it by offering the eight-legged arachnid tea and tucking it into bed.
The ABC banned it from being televised in the future, due to it being “inappropriate for Australian audiences.” However, it seems Nick Jr chose to air it again on August 25.
Essential Baby, an Australian website, reported that a mother named Jess made a complaint to Nickelodeon about the British TV show, after switching off the episode when her daughter was watching it.
She allegedly was told by Nickelodeon that “the safety of children comes on the parents and it’s not their responsibility.”
Nick Jr originally didn’t want to pull the episode from the series, saying Mr Skinny Legs “did not look real”.
“The episode is light-hearted, friendly and very mild in impact; the overarching message of the episode is about respecting all creatures,” their spokesperson said.
“The context of the way the spider is portrayed in the episode lessens any impact of scariness or danger; the spider does not look real, it has a smiley face and is shown in context of a show with other talking animals.”
However, it is true that not all spiders are happy-go-lucky creatures. Some spiders are dangerous, such as the funnel-web spider and redback spider.
Jess also expressed more of her concerns, by adding that her daughter was “too young to understand” and that other kids that watch the program could decide to play with spiders too.
The station later changed their minds, telling Essential Baby: “Nick Jr. prides itself in creating a safe environment for its audience and bases all programming decisions upon internal guidelines in accordance with all Australian regulatory and legal obligations. While the episode does meet our criteria, after careful consideration we have made the programming decision to remove it from the Nick Jr. rotation.”