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'Peppa Pig' says 'spiders can't hurt you,' Australia laughs

An episode of the kids' show claiming spiders are harmless gets pulled Down Under, where numerous species can put you in the hospital with their bites.

Sometimes even cartoons get lost in translation. An episode of the British animated kids' show "Peppa Pig" won't be shown any more in Australia because it presents spiders as creatures children can befriend, whereas Down Under, that isn't always true. 

In the episode, Peppa's brother George finds a spider in the family's sink. "George wanted the spider to be his friend," the narrator cheerfully announces, showing the little brother and spider playing. "George likes the spider, the spider likes George." George then scoops up the spider and puts it to bed in Peppa's dollhouse.

Peppa proves herself to be a good potential Australian by screaming and running off.

"There's no need to be afraid, Peppa," scolds clueless Dad, in between snorts, "Spiders are very, very small, and they can't hurt you."

But as a January 2017 survey of Australia's hospital admissions shows, that's not always true. More than 12,000 people in Australia were admitted to the hospital due to spider bites between 2000 and 2013.

The episode first drew fire in 2012, when it was decided it would no longer be shown in Australia due to the misleading spider info. But it popped up again on Nick Jr. in late August, and a mother in Sydney told the Essential Baby website she complained to broadcaster Foxtel. While Nickelodeon Australia emailed a defense of the episode, noting "the spider does not look real," the broadcaster later told Essential Baby it would pull the episode from future airings. 

"Nick Jr. prides itself in creating a safe environment for its audience and bases all programming decisions upon internal guidelines in accordance with all Australian regulatory and legal obligations," Nickelodeon Australia said in an email to Essential Baby. "While the episode does meet our criteria, after careful consideration we have made the programming decision to remove it from the Nick Jr. rotation."

Nickelodeon did not immediately respond to a CNET request for comment.

By the end of the episode, even though the entire Pig family has sat down to have tea with the spider, now dubbed "Mister Skinny Legs," Dad Pig is still freaked out enough to topple over when Peppa brings the spider up to his face. 

Good job, Daddy Pig. You're a natural Australian.

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