An episode of the popular cartoon series "Peppa Pig" that featured a spider caused a concerned mother from Sydney to lodge a complaint to Australian pay television company Foxtel which aired it. The parent’s objection that it conveyed that spiders cannot hurt kids when touched and played with was forwarded to Nickelodeon.

While Nickelodeon initially upheld its decision to run the Mr. Skinny Legs episode that featured the show’s key characters Peppa Pig and her brother George playing with the spider, it eventually decided to remove it from the Nick Jr. rotation. Nickelodeon executives stated that it changed its stance to align with its thrust of creating a safe environment for its various audiences while adhering to guidelines set by the Australian regulatory agencies.

Common spiders of Australia

It can be noted that Australia is home to several dangerous spider species. There are some types of spiders, like the Huntsman that is not entirely venomous but can have a nasty bite.

There are also low-risk, non-aggressive spiders like the Trap-Door Spider, but if harassed, may bite with a sting. Overall, it was the pro-spider stance of the British cartoon show that alarmed Australian parents.

It turns out that the Mister Skinny Legs episode dated back to 2004. It showed Peppa Pig scared of the spider at first, but was told by her father that spiders are very small and cannot hurt. The episode upset Australian parents worried that the show sent the wrong message to kids.

The "Peppa Pig" episode with the spider was eventually removed. When it was aired anew on the Nickelodeon channel in August 2017, Australian parents who visualized their children attempting to play with some funnel web spiders raised a howl of protest.

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Different perspectives

Show creators across the world often maintain that animals or other creatures portrayed as not really acting out their real nature may meet programming criteria. However, for parents who dutifully monitor what their children see on television or other forms of media, key messages conveyed to young minds are regarded as crucial. In many cases, elders are concerned about the harm the wrong messages may ingrain on children, both in the physical or emotional sense.

In the digital age, many youngsters can now access a lot of shows they desire anytime they want. Now that animated shows for children can be live streamed or viewed on social media sites, youngsters no longer need a television. They can gain access to their favorite shows from a smartphone, tablet or, laptop, any day of the week.