It appears not even children's programming is safe from the never-ending culture war.
"Bluey," the wildly popular Australian cartoon featuring anthropomorphic talking dogs, has never been a stranger to some mild controversy.
The show, which is available in the U.S. via Disney Plus, has had plenty of content censored before. Fatherly has a fairly comprehensive breakdown of the censored material, but it's all rather tame stuff.
One scene that was scrubbed involved the eponymous Bluey running on a slick bathroom floor. A scene where Bluey's sister Bingo fake-vomits was removed. Mentions of topics like pregnancy have also been cut for American audiences, as have references to being neutered and the word "groin."
One episode that was completely nixed featured Bluey's father Bandit simulating giving birth to explain how children are born.
There's a fair argument to be made for scrubbing this content from a show aimed at preschoolers. Young minds don't need to be worrying about childbirth and infertility while running on wet surfaces.
But the censorship of a recent episode is raising some eyebrows because it's not nearly as cut and dry.
The Season 3 episode in question, "Exercise," has not aired in the U.S. yet (it aired in Australia on April 16), but when it does, it'll be missing what amounts to the episode's "cold open."
In the original episode, Bandit and Bluey's mother Chilli both express remorse after stepping on the bathroom scale, with Bandit even pinching his love handles wistfully. That scene has now been removed.
As Deadline noted, the intro to the episode sparked a wave of controversy about "fat-shaming."
Deadline quoted one TikTok content creator, "Aussie Girl Margie," as criticizing the show for being "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," the TikToker added.
Deadline also quoted pediatric dietitian Dr. Kyla Ringrose, who said that "watching Bandit and Chilli weigh themselves and openly hate on their bodies in front of the kids was really uncomfortable."
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation addressed the controversy in a statement.
"The recent episode of Bluey, Exercise, has been republished by ABC following a decision by the makers of the program. The new version provides families with the opportunity to manage important conversations in their own way," the statement read.
Which brings us back to the culture wars and the shocking double standard associated with "censorship."
When Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis wants to remove porn from school libraries? "FASCIST!"
But when it's a children's cartoon with content that might offend the sensibilities of a select few? "CENSOR IT!"
Just as importantly, what message are people like Ringrose trying to impart here? That it's OK to be unhealthy and overweight?
At no point in that censored scene were Bandit or Chilli mocked for being overweight. There's no maliciousness there. This was little more than the realization that two characters needed to embark on a quest for self-improvement, something all young people should be taught anyhow.
And if self-improvement is somehow deemed offensive... oh, boy. ABC, Disney and the BBC (which airs "Bluey" in other international markets) might want to stop and think about the message they're actually sending.
Besides, America is a rather obese country.
If any audience could use a little "shame" to help get in better shape, it's us.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.