Foxtel have aired a previously banned episode of Peppa Pig and worried parents are taking them to task for it. It would seem that Mr Skinny Legs is not a popular fellow on our shores…
The Mr Skinny Legs episode of Peppa Pig apparently aired on Friday 25 August on Foxtel’s Nick Jnr channel. The program features Peppa Pig’s little brother George making friends with a spider, much to Peppa’s distress.
George is seen carrying the spider around the house, even popping him into the dollhouse he and his piggy sister are playing with. When a worried Peppa begs Daddy Pig to remove the spider, he laughs and says: “Spiders are very very small. And they can’t hurt you”. Some parents are not happy with Daddy Pig’s comments at all.
This episode raised the ire of parents when it was originally aired here in 2012, resulting in a ban by the ABC.
In a statement released by the national broadcaster back then, a sympathetic ABC explained that the ep was unsuitable for Australian audiences, and had been accidentally aired. They apologised and speedily removed Mr Skinny Legs from view.
“The ABC considered the episode unsuitable for broadcast in Australia and it had been restricted from being aired on the ABC’s television networks. However, the episode was accidentally published online due to a technical problem. The ABC apologised to the complainant and advised that the episode was no longer available online. ”
Fast forward to last week and, it’s Nick Jr on Foxtel who’ve shown the spider-friendly episode to young audiences. Parents are not happy about it, concerned the episode could teach children it’s okay to touch or play with spiders. The episode has not been banned by any regulatory body in Australia.
But is this all a bit of a storm in a skinny-legged tea cup?
Perhaps. Spiders get a disproportionately bad rap when it comes to scary critters.
Yet, Australian Geographic tells us that while spiders are the most widely distributed venomous creatures in Australia, statistically they are less life-threatening than snakes or sharks, or even bees. In fact, a recent study of animal-related deaths in Australia found that there were ZERO spider-related deaths between 2000 and 2013. Zero!
The same can’t be said for horses, though. They were responsible for 74 deaths in that zero-spider-death period. Watch out for horses, guys!
Perhaps the takeaway from this story is that parents should teach their kiddos not to touch wildlife of any kind, and explain that Australia is an extra-special country full of amazing creatures we must protect, respect – and keep our distance from.
We’re guessing most mums and dads are doing this already, so a friendly spider on Peppa Pig is probably not a gateway drug to lethal encounters.
It’s also good to note that watching TV with your child and talking through things that might seem confusing or fraught is a great idea too. We’re guessing Mr Skinny Legs is not the first mixed-message-sending character kids are seeing on telly, so navigating screen time together is the best approach.
Do you think Mr Skinny Legs is a potentially dangerous character? Or is this all a bit of an over reaction?