Australia’s Emmy-winning kids’ show Bluey is at the center of a row after the ABC and BBC Studios edited an episode to address concerns about fat shaming.
The Season 3 episode, titled Exercise, featured Bluey’s father Bandit embarking on a fitness regime after he stands on the bathroom scales and grabs his paunch.
Viewers said it promoted toxic messaging about weight. Aussie Girl Margie, a TikTok user who has built a following analyzing Bluey, said: “Apparently, Bluey is totally OK with fat shaming now.”
She added: “The fact they added in the scales and showed both parents being sad and disappointed after seeing the number on the scales, is pretty problematic.”
Pediatric dietitian Dr Kyla Ringrose wrote: “Watching Bandit and Chilli weigh themselves and openly hate on their bodies in front of the kids was really uncomfortable.”
The episode aired in Australia on April 16, but is yet to land on Disney+, which has a deal with distributor BBC Studios to stream the series in the UK and U.S. When Exercise does stream, it will be an edited version of the original episode.
The ABC said: “The recent episode of Bluey, Exercise, has been republished by the ABC following a decision by the makers of the program. The new version provides families with the opportunity to manage important conversations in their own way.”
“As the home of Bluey, the ABC supports the decision to re-edit the program and we have updated the episode on our platforms. BBC Studios will use this revised version for global distribution and also support this decision.”
It is not the first time that the cartoon about a loveable family of dogs has been shrouded in controversy. In 2020, Ludo Studio producers cut the term “ooga booga” from two Bluey episodes, Teasing and Flat Pack, after a viewer complained it has “racial connotations and a problematic history for Indigenous Australians.”