Bob D’Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk
An episode of the popular children’s show “Peppa Pig” was pulled off the air for a second time in Australia as some viewers complained it encouraged children to play with dangerous spiders, The Guardian reported.
“Mister Skinny Legs,” a 2004 episode, was removed from online publication by the national public broadcaster, the ABC, in 2012 for sending the “inappropriate” message that spiders were friendly and not to be feared.
In the offending episode, Daddy Pig tells a frightened Peppa that spiders are “very, very small” and “can’t hurt you” after a spider enters her room.
That was considered “inappropriate for Australian audiences,” and the ABC banned it.
On Aug. 25, the episode was aired again on Nick Jr, a children’s channel affiliated with Nickelodeon and available on the Australian pay TV service Foxtel.
A Sydney woman identified as Jess told Fairfax Media she complained to Nick Jr. The channel initially refused to pull the episode, saying Mister Skinny Legs “did not look real.”
Australia’s dangerous spider species include the venomous redback spider, the funnel-web spider, white-tailed spider and wolf-spider, according to the Australian Museum. An estimated 2,000 people are bitten each year by redback spiders, and 40 by funnel webs.
The five-minute episode shows the two children discovering the spider in the bathroom sink and befriending it. At the end of the episode, the children pour it a cup of tea alongside a set of dolls. “We are all going to have tea with Mister Skinny Legs,” Peppa says. “Peppa likes Mister Skinny Legs, everyone likes Mister Skinny Legs,” the narrator says.