ABC will be editing an episode of the animated series Bluey before it hits Disney+ because of complaints of fat-shaming content.
Although ABC and BBC Studios’ Bluey has been riding high, holding tightly onto its grasp as one of the most popular children’s shows of the time, Deadline reports that a recent episode caused a shakeup amongst its fan base that will lead to its editing before it lands on Disney+. The Season 3 episode titled “Exercise” is hearing the cries of cancel culture as it’s being criticized for fat-shaming elements as, in the episode, Bluey’s father Bandit decides to go on a diet and fitness plan after looking at the scale and seeing that he’s packed on a few pounds.
“Exercise” already made its way onto television screens in Australia in early April, leading to the outcry of upset so, while it’s too late for Bluey producers to catch the snafu before the public sees it, they plan to edit out the problematic parts before it arrives on Disney+. Not only have TikTok users jumped in on the conversations, sharing their disgust for the supposed body-shaming undercurrent in the episode, but even dietitians have joined the conversation. Pediatric dietitian Dr. Kyla Ringrose voiced her concern for the messages the episode sent to the younger generation by showing the characters weighing themselves “and openly hate on their bodies.”
Quickly getting ahead of the PR crisis, ABC jumped on the opportunity to make this a learning experience for not only the folks behind Bluey but also its primary audience. In a statement, the network said that they will be making edits to ensure that it’s a more viewer-friendly experience, adding that the changes will allow families to have conversations on their own time and in whatever way they see fit. They also promised that once the edited version of “Exercise” was available they would upload it to their streaming platforms.
Since premiering in 2018, Bluey has been a staple in households around the globe introducing audiences to an Australian anthropomorphic six-year-old puppy with a zest for learning and adventure. Joining the young dog on his adventures are her father, Bandit, her mother, Chilli, and her younger sister and partner in crime, Bingo. The cartoon is filled with positive messages for kids with themes of individuality, family, and growing up in Australia.
Not only has the series been a major hit in Australia, but Bluey has spread its good spirit around the globe, raking in the praises of critics and a now loyal fanbase of families and even adults. Nabbing a slew of award nods during its three-season run, the show even raked in an International Emmy Kids Award in 2019.
With Bluey receiving a strike for fat-shaming content, it joins ranks with classic children’s shows like Pokémon, SpongeBob SquarePants, and even Sesame Street, which have all faced the wrath of viewers or censors in one way or another. Fortunately for Bluey, the outpour of love for the children’s show seems to keep rolling in, meaning that this bump in the road doesn’t mean that things will come to a halt any time soon.