Netflix discover 'phallic drawing' in one of their children’s cartoons

Netflix discover 'phallic drawing' in one of their children’s cartoons

Netflix has had to scramble to remove an episode of one of their children's cartoons after a crude drawing of male genitalia was found in one of their episodes.

An episode of Maya the Bee, a French-German-produced cartoon that has been airing in the United States via Netflix, was pulled from the streaming site after a crudely-drawn penis was discovered in a four-second, fly-by scene, and screencaps of the image made the rounds on social media earlier this week.

Credit: Netflix

Maya the Bee is based on a series of books written in 1912 by the German author Waldemar Bonsels. The books and their various adaptations (of which this is the latest, having started in 2012) tell the story of a rebellious young bee named Maya, who leaves the hive to go on a series of adventures.

In the 35th episode of the first season, parents were outraged to discover a distinctly crude drawing, screencaps of which have made the rounds online. Chey Robinson initially posted a video highlighting the imagery on Facebook that has since been deleted, but the torch has been picked up by other concerned mums across the globe.

In that post, Robinson warns other parents to 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."

While Netflix have the show on their roster, it's not produced by them; instead, France-based Studio 100 have been in charge of making the episodes. In a statement, a spokesperson for Studio 100 has apologised for the drawing, saying it was the result of a "very bad joke".

"An absolutely inappropriate image has been discovered in a four-second fly-by scene in one episode of the total of 78 episodes of the series. The origin of this image obviously results from a very bad joke from one of the 150 artists working on the production.

This is indeed unacceptable to the Studio 100 Group as owner of the brand and all its partners and doesn’t reflect the quality of its work and its values. Legal action has already been started. Studio 100 very much regrets this incident and would like to offer its sincere apologies to all Maya the Bee fans."

Soon after the complaints started to come in, Netflix pulled the episode from their service, but you can still watch the other 77 episodes of Maya the Bee on their platform. While the streaming giants have declined to comment on the phallic fiasco, Studio 100 say they are working hard to take "all suitable technical measures to remedy the situation".