If your looking for a good, wholesome show for your kid to watch on Netflix, Maya The Bee is generally a good choice. After all, the show was developed from a German book series first published a century ago, Maya is the queen of adventures, and she and her friends even have adorable British accents. So, you may be surprised to learn the pretty unexpected reason why Netflix pulled this episode of Maya The Bee. It has nothing to with the plot of the episode; there wasn't some weird technical glitch. Instead, one mom spotted a fleeting image of some male anatomy not normally shown or referenced in children's shows in the background of one scene and raised the alarm.
Update: In a statement to Romper, a Netflix spokesperson provided the following information: "Parents trust Netflix to be easy and safe to use for their kids. We've removed the episode as soon as we found out about the issue and are working with our studio partner to make it right."
Earlier: Netflix has not confirmed that the etching of what looks a whole awful lot like a penis in a log that Maya whizzes by in the Season 1 episode "Once Upon a Slime/The Big Eat" is the reason the episode got the boot Wednesday. But it seems the likely culprit, as the episode disappeared from Netflix queues everywhere after United States mom Chey Robinson posted a video to Facebook pointing it out and expressing her outrage (and, honestly, showcasing her impressive observational skills). The video has since been deleted from Robinson's Facebook page, the Daily Dot reported.
It lives on YouTube, though. And that's great, because it's just too good.
The clip remained on Facebook long enough to go viral. And Robinson was fired up about what she saw on the show, as she originally wrote in her post, according to Newsweek:
Please be mindful of what your kids are watching. I did NOT edit any images whatsoever, this is Maya the Bee, Season 1, Episode 35. I know I'm not going crazy and I know that something like this shouldn’t be in a kids’ show whatsoever. I'm extremely disgusted by it, there should be no reason my kids have to see something like this. I don’t know if they're gonna do something about this or what, but there's no reasons why this should be in this show.
It's important to note, as Variety did, that although Netflix distributes Maya The Bee, it does not create it.
In any case, Robinson is right that there really was no reason that what appeared to be a penis-shape should have made a cameo on the show. It's probably safe even for someone who has not seen the episode to assume that it wasn't exactly integral to the plot. But if this is the work of, say, a mischievous illustrator gone rogue, that person joins a not-so-noble tradition of inserting seemingly questionable content into kids' entertainment. (You may remember, for example, when an image of a naked woman made its way onto the reedition of the 1977 film The Rescuers — a snafu that Disney animator Tom Sito later told HuffPost was a big mistake that led to a major recall.)
Despite the fact that cultural norms in the United States would have you believe that sex is a big bad boogeyman from which kids should be shielded, but violence in entertainment is A-OK, perhaps this isn't the worst thing in the world. So, some kids may have caught a glimpse of a penis. Well, about half of those little ones have them, so is it that big of a deal? And chances are that for most of the boys and girls who make up Maya The Bee's audience, this whole thing went right over their heads.
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