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This ‘Peppa Pig’ Episode Was Pulled in Australia for Child Safety Concerns | #childsafety | #kids | #chldern | #parents | #schoolsafey

The Big Picture

  • Peppa Pig‘s “Spider Web” episode was banned in Australia due to concerns about teaching children not to be afraid of spiders, a potentially dangerous message in a country known for its deadly spiders.
  • The ban’s logic is questionable considering Mr. Skinny Legs, the spider in the episode, had previously appeared in another episode where Peppa was afraid of him.
  • The fact that only one complaint was made about the episode in a country with a population of over 26 million suggests that most Australians are able to separate Peppa Pig from reality and understand the dangers of spiders.

Peppa Pig, surely, will be the death of some parents, as kids can’t get enough of the beloved animated series. Perhaps it literally could prove fatal, at least for wee ones in Australia. Now you may be wondering how a show as seemingly innocent as Peppa Pig would raise safety concerns. Has there been an outbreak of children gouging out their left eyeball and gluing it to the right side of their face, so that their eyes are on the same side, thus emulating their porcine pal? (No, and ew.) The problem with Peppa (Harley Bird) is she told Mummy Pig (Morwenna Banks) not to be afraid of a spider in the 2011 episode “Spider Web,” and despite its pure intentions, it caused chaos.

‘Peppa Pig’s Banned “Spider Web” Episode Is Pretty Innocent

Image via Channel 5

Season 4, Episode 22’s “Spider Web” brings Mr. Skinny-Legs back to Peppa Pig. A friendly spider, Mr. Skinny Legs, so named by Peppa because of his piercing blue eyes (kidding, kidding, it’s the skinny spider legs), has found his way inside the family home. Peppa is fond of him. George (Oliver May), Peppa’s younger brother, is fond of him. Daddy Pig (Richard Ridings) is fond of him. Mummy Pig? Decidedly not fond of him. She’s scared of the arachnid guest, and insists Daddy Pig take the beast outside.

“Don’t be scared, Mummy,” Peppa says before Daddy Pig escorts Mr. Skinny Legs to the garden by the string of his web. The garden is still a little too close to home, so the family takes Mr. Skinny Legs to a tree down the hill, where they watch in amazement as the spider weaves a web. Daddy then says, “It’s hard work weaving a web, that’s why you must never ever break one. If you do, the spider has to do all the work again.” The next day, Mr. Skinny-Legs has woven a new web, only this one goes from the house to Daddy’s car. What to do? Daddy Pig has to get to work, but he can’t go back on the “must never ever break a spider web” edict. Thankfully, Peppa Pig has a viable solution. She comes to the rescue and offers Daddy her bicycle to use to get to work, so the car and the web stay where they are, and Daddy Pig is left in the unenviable position to try and explain to his coworkers why he’s riding a bike at least 10 times too small at best. That’ll do, pig, that’ll do.

‘Peppa Pig’s Message About Spiders Became Problematic

The family ponders how Daddy Pig will get to work without breaking Mr. Skinny-Legs' web in 'Peppa Pig'
Image via Channel 5

Sure, the “don’t be afraid of spiders” lesson is a good one throughout most of the world. However, in Australia, where a lot of what walks, crawls, or slithers can kill you, that lesson can be problematic. See, Australia is home to some of the most dangerous spiders in the world, with 27 deaths over the last 100 years attributed to spider bites, and those are the only ones that have been reported. The most deadly spider is the male funnel-web spider, which doesn’t look all that different from (you guessed it) Mr. Skinny Legs. And so it was that a single viewer complaint in 2012 (yes, one single viewer complaint) about the wrong message being given to Australian children about spiders prompted action by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation did agree that it was irresponsible to air the episode and promptly banned it from airing on Australian television and online (although the episode had mistakenly been published online due to technical issues).

Now there are many reasons why the whole thing is ludicrous, but let’s begin with the obvious. Mr. Skinny Legs’ appearance in “Spider Web” isn’t even the first time the character appears in Peppa Pig. His first appearance is back in Season 1’s “Mr. Skinny Legs.” In that episode, George finds Mr. Skinny Legs in the bathroom and befriends him, and it’s Peppa that is afraid of him until she realizes he doesn’t want to hurt her. So the logic, then, is that an episode where Peppa fears and avoids the spider is okay, but when Mummy Pig has that same fear, well, you can’t have that. Speaking of, why is Peppa Pig responsible for teaching Australian children to avoid spiders? Again, almost every inch of Australia has a creature of some sort ready to send you to the afterlife (okay, that is an exaggeration). But wouldn’t the first thing you teach your child in Australia is not to touch things?

RELATED: Why ‘Bluey’ Resonates with Adults, Too

Parents in Australia likely do teach their children that. This is why, in a country with a population of 26,471,088, only one complaint about the dangers of Peppa Pig befriending a spider (but not the first time befriending a spider, just the second) has ever been made. So either 26,471,087 Australians are courting death every day, or they have no problem separating Peppa Pig from reality. But if you are thinking about just how daft this situation is, keep this in mind. An episode of Bluey, an Australian children’s television program, called “Family Meeting,” was banned on Disney+ because a dog farted. The last time anyone checked, the threat of dying from a spider bite is far, far more likely than children dying because a dog farts in their vicinity. To their credit, Disney did acknowledge the silliness of the ban and had a change of heart, allowing the episode to air on the streaming service. At least until they get a collect call from a single parent in Australia, in which case all bets are off.


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