This ‘Peppa Pig’ Episode Was Pulled in Australia for Child Safety Concerns


The big picture

  • Peppa Pig
    The episode “Spider Web” 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 logic of the ban is questionable considering that 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 has been made about the episode in a country with a population of more than 26 million suggests that most Australians are able to separate Peppa Pig from reality and understand the dangers of spiders.

Peppa Pig, will surely be the death of some parents, as kids can't get enough of the beloved animated series. It might, literally, prove fatal, at least for little ones in Australia. Now you might be wondering how a show as seemingly innocent as Peppa Pig would raise security issues. Has there been an outbreak of kids taking out their left eyeball and sticking it on the right side of their face so their eyes are on the same side, emulating their pig friend? (No, and ew.) The problem with Peppa (Harley Bird) told Mummy Pig (Morwenna Banks) for not being afraid of a spider in the 2011 episode “Spider Web,” and despite his pure intentions, he wreaked havoc.

Peppa Pig

A little pig named Peppa and her little brother George travel every day with their family and friends.

Publication date
May 31, 2004

Morwenna Banks


The Forbidden “Spider Web” episode of Peppa Pig is innocent enough

Season 4 Episode 22 “Spider Web” brings back Mr. Skinny Legs a Peppa Pig. A cute spider, Mr. Skinny Legs, named by Peppa for her piercing blue eyes (kidding, kidding, they're the spider's skinny legs), has found her way into the family home. Peppa loves him. George (Oliver May), Peppa's younger brother, loves her. Daddy Pig (Richard Ridings) he likes. Mother pig? decidedly no loved by him He is afraid of the arachnid guest and insists that Father Pig take the beast out.

“Don't be scared, Mummy,” Peppa says before Daddy Pig takes Mr. Skinny Legs in the garden by the rope of his net. The garden is still a little too close to the house, so the family brings mr. Skinny Legs in a tree on the hill, where they watch in amazement as the spider weaves a web. Then the father says, “It's hard work weaving a web, so you must never, ever break it. 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 dad's car. What to do? Daddy Pig has to get to work, but he cannot go back on the edict “never break a web”.. Fortunately, Peppa Pig has a viable solution. She comes to the rescue and offers Dad his bike to use for commuting, so the car and the net stay where they are, and Dad Pig is left in the unenviable position of trying to explain to the his co-workers why he bikes to at least 10 times too small at best. That'll do, pig, that'll do.


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'Peppa Pig's message about spiders became problematic

Of course, the lesson of “don't be afraid of spiders” holds good in most of the world. However, in Australia, where much of what walks, crawls or slithers can kill you, this lesson can be problematic. Look at, Australia is home to some of the most dangerous spiders in the world, with 27 deaths in the last 100 years attributed to spider bites (although there have been no deaths attributed to spiders since 1979), and these are the only ones that have been reported. The deadliest spider is the male funnel web spider, which doesn't look too different from (you guessed it) Mr. Skinny Legs. And so it was that a complaint from a single viewer in 2012 (yes, one complaint from a single viewer) about the wrong message being given to Australian children about spiders prompted action by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation did agree it was irresponsible to air the episode and quickly banned it from broadcast on Australian television and online (although the episode had been mistakenly posted online due to technical issues).

Now there are many reasons why this is all ridiculous, but let's start with the obvious. The appearance of Mr. Skinny Legs in “Spider Web” is not even the first time the character appears in Peppa Pig. He returns to his first appearance Season 1's “Mr. Skinny Legs”. In this episode, George finds Mr. Skinny Legs in the bathroom and befriends him, and it is Peppa who is afraid of him until she realizes that he does not want to hurt her. The logic then is that an episode where Peppa is scared and avoids the spider is fine, but when the mummy is just as scared, well, you can't have it. Speaking of, why is it? Peppa Pig responsible for teaching Australian children to avoid spiders? Then again, almost every inch of Australia has a creature of some kind ready to send you to the afterlife (okay, that's an exaggeration). But wouldn't the first thing you teach your child in Australia be not to touch things?

You probably stop in Australia do teach this to your children. That's why, in a country with a population of 26,471,088, there's only one complaint about the dangers of Peppa Pig befriending a spider (but not first time making friends with a spider, only the second) has ever been done. So 26,471,087 Australians court death every day, or they have no problem separating Peppa Pig of reality. But if you're thinking about how silly this situation is, consider this. An episode of blue, an Australian children's TV show called “Family Meeting” was banned from Disney+ because a dog farted. Last time someone checked, the threat of death from a spider bite is far, far more likely than children dying from a dog farting in their vicinity. To his credit, Disney recognized the silliness of the ban and changed his mind, 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.

Peppa Pig is available to stream on Netflix in the United States

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