Producers are also looking for the artist who drew it.
Leave it to a children's show that's adapted from a 105-year-old German book to cause controversy for too much phallic imagery.
That's exactly what happened to Studio 100, the makers of the kiddie series Maya The Bee, who have publicly apologized after a hidden drawing of a penis was spotted by a U.S. parent, who later posted an image of the discovery on social media. Other parents who saw the shared picture were equally outraged, dragging both Studio 100 and Netflix, one of the show's streaming distributors, for the egregious oversight. The streaming giant, while refraining from commenting on the matter, has since removed the episode of Maya from their catalog. The amazing part? This episode in particular was first broadcast in 2012. Surely countless children (or maybe their parents) have been scarred in the process.
The drawing of the penis, etched on a log in the background of a scene, "obviously results from a very bad joke from one of the 150 artists working on the production," a spokesperson for the production company told the BBC. "This is indeed unacceptable to Studio 100 as owner of the brand and all its affiliates and doesn't reflect the quality of our work and our values." The Paris-based company added that it was "very sorry" and that it was "taking all suitable technical measures to remedy the situation." The show's producers are supposedly looking for the culprit out of their pool of artists from France and Asia who worked on that particular episode, according to Deadline. At last word, the perpetrator could be facing some stiff legal punishment if caught.
Sexually suggestive images or text have been popping up in children's shows and "family friendly" feature films for decades. One of the more famous example happens in 1991's An American Tail: Fievel Goes West, where a doodle of a penis can fleetingly be seen. Disney's animation team also drew the ire of parents in the VHS aftermarket when the word "sex" was supposedly spelled out in the clouds when an adult Simba collapses on a mountain ledge, plant bust blowing into the air and forming the letters as a result. Moral of the story: kid's shows and movies are bad influences, just like more grown-up fare.