Netflix has pulled an episode of the children’s show Maya the Bee after parents noticed that a penis had clearly, clearly been etched into a tree in the background of one scene. This wasn’t a case of oh-that-cartoon-character’s-nose-sort-of-looks-like-a-weiner. No sir. This phallice is flagrant, drawn on a forest log using the same crude, hilarious style of art found on the stall door in a dive bar bathroom. What the hell, guys?
A woman named Chey Robinson was the first to post a screenshot of the scene online, wondering how the streaming service would allow such a dong to be so prominently featured in a kid’s show. Other parents quickly began to share screenshots as well, voicing their displeasure with the obscene image. As more and more people began to notice, the streaming service quickly removed the episode, which is the 35th episode of the first season.
Maya the Bee, which is based on the German kid’s book published in 1912 (and, as far as we can tell, does not feature any penises) it debuted as a series in 2012. It’s created by Studio 100 Animation which has yet to comment on the controversial image. Netflix has also declined to comment so far and some have speculated the company may eventually remove all Maya the Bee episodes from streaming.
This dick drawing debacle oddly mirrors American Vandal, a true crime parody that that debuted on Netflix last week. American Vandal follows the investigation of a high school sleuth who tries to figure out who drew penises on 27 faculty members’ cars. Perhaps American Vandal will help Studio 100 Animation uncover the Maya the Bee Boner Artist, though that might be a tad too meta.
This is hardly the first time a kid’s show has snuck a dirty joke into an episode to amuse otherwise bored parents. But usually, the joke is done with a bit of subtlety so that it can fly over a kid’s head. In the case of Maya the Bee, however, there is absolutely no room for speculation. No ifs, ands, or buts. Just a giant phallice.