Award-Winning Kids Show Slammed for "Fat Shaming" Scene
A recent episode of Bluey has been edited following backlash.
The beloved and critically acclaimed Australian kids show Bluey is about a puppy, her family, and her adventures with her friends. But, despite that innocent premise, the animated series is facing backlash for a recent episode. In fact, the Bluey episode in question won't even air in its original form in the U.S.
An episode of Bluey that aired in Australia in April—but has not yet aired internationally—has been called out by viewers for fat shaming. Due to the backlash, the episode has been edited for additional airings in Australia and for its upcoming premiere outside of the country.
Read on to find out what happened in the episode that led to this decision.
The scene involves Bluey's parents.
As reported by the BBC, the episode of Bluey that sparked backlash, titled "Exercise," includes a scene in which Bluey's dad Bandit weighs himself on a bathroom scale and then talks negatively about his weight with Bluey's mom, Chilli.
With Bluey in the room, Bandit steps on a scale and says, "Oh man … I just need to do some exercise." Chilli, who has entered the room with Bluey's sister, chimes in, "Tell me about it." Bandit grabs his stomach and looks down at it, then Bluey suggests, "Why don't you just do some exercise?"
The episode was criticized by both viewers and experts.
Fans spoke out online, and experts also shared their thoughts on the matter. Many slammed the decision to show parents speaking poorly about their own bodies in front of their children, as well as perpetrating the idea that weight loss is the main benefit of exercise.
According to Deadline, TikTok user Aussie Girl Margie, who analyzes Bluey episodes, said in a video, "Apparently, Bluey is totally OK with fat shaming now … 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 dietician Dr. Kyla Ringrose wrote on Instagram, "Huge @officialblueytv fan, but watching Bandit and Chilli weigh themselves and openly hate on their bodies in front of the kids was really uncomfortable … I love the message about being active WITH your kids but this wasn't good watching at the start."
The episode has been edited for future airings.
The Australian Broadcasting Company announced that the disputed scene has been cut from the episode.
"The recent episode of Bluey, 'Exercise,' has been republished by the ABC following a decision by the makers of the program," the statement reads. "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."
For U.S. viewers, this means that the edited version will be the one that streams on Disney+.
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Fans are celebrating the decision.
Referencing the show's production company, Aussie Girl Margie wrote on TikTok, "Ludo studios listened to HEALTH PROFESSIONALS and changed the Bluey episode Exercise from season 3."
Ringrose also posted about the response. "IT'S BEEN CHANGED!!!," the doctor posted on Instagram. "The controversial @officialblueytv episode with the uncomfortable body shaming part has been improved, with the weight references and scales removed. I AM THRILLED."
Dr. Laura Renshaw-Vuillier, an expert on eating disorders and mental illness, told the BBC after the announcement was made, "I think it's extremely important that we have discussions around healthy eating and exercise, but more from a health perspective rather than from a fat-shaming perspective. I did not see that episode, but I like how Bandit is so playful with his kids, and I think that if they can promote a way of doing exercise for fun rather than to lose weight it's great."