×

Netflix Children’s Show Production Company Calls Penis Drawing ‘a Very Bad Joke’

Following a social media uproar that prompted Netflix to remove an episode of the children’s show “Maya the Bee” that included a drawing of what appeared to be a penis in the background, the French production company behind the cartoon has apologized.

“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,” Studio 100 said in a statement obtained by Variety. “The origin of this image obviously results from a very bad joke from one of the 150 artists working on the production.”

The vulgar image was discovered by U.S. viewers who shared screenshots of the questionable scenes on social media. Parent Chey Robinson’s Facebook post of the offending clip from Season 1, Episode 35 of the series was among the first to go viral.

“Please be mindful of what your kids are watching. I did NOT edit any images whatsoever, this is ‘Maya the Bee,’ Season 1, Episode 35,” she wrote on Facebook. “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.”

The European cartoon “Maya the Bee,” based on a children’s book series published in 1912, debuted in 2012. Netflix only distributes the show about an adventurous young bee, created by Studio 100 Animation.

Although Studio 100 Group stated that “legal action has already been started,” the company’s Paris-based managing director, Katell France, told Variety that they were not able to press legal charges against the artist who drew the image at this point because he or she has not yet been identified. The producer said the image had been inserted during the compositing or layout stages on which more than 150 people worked.

“We are desperately searching for the person who did this, but it is a complicated task, considering the large number of people who were involved in France and Asia,” France said.

In the meantime, Studio 100 Animation’s managing director said the company recreated the segment with the appropriate background and re-inserted it in a master that they are in the process of delivering to more than 100 broadcasters and services.

“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,” the company’s statement reads. “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.”

The animation work on “Maya the Bee” was done out of the company’s studios in France and Asia. The show is a French-German co-production commissioned by TF1 and ZDF.

More TV

  • Ana Gasteyer to Star in NBC

    Ana Gasteyer to Star in NBC Comedy Pilot 'American Auto'

    Ana Gasteyer has signed on for lead role in the NBC single-camera comedy pilot “American Auto.” The project hails from Justin Spitzer, the creator of NBC’s well-received comedy series “Superstore.” It is set at the headquarters of a major American automotive company in Detroit where a floundering group of executives try to rediscover the company [...]

  • The Most Dangerous Animal of All

    TV News Roundup: FX Releases 'The Most Dangerous Animal of All' Trailer

    In today’s TV news roundup, FX released a trailer of “The Most Dangerous Animal of All” and Quibi announced Megan Rapinoe as the host of the new docuseries “Prodigy.” CASTING Megan Rapinoe will host new documentary series “Prodigy,“ Quibi announced. As a host, Rapinoe will provide on camera commentary and her perspective on the eight [...]

  • Seann William Scott

    Seann William Scott Boards Fox Mockumentary Pilot 'This Country'

    Seann William Scott has signed on to the half-hour Fox pilot based on the British comedy series “This Country.” The American version follows a documentary crew goes to a small town to study young adults and their current concerns. Their focus is the daily lives of cousins Kelly and Shrub Mallet and their idiosyncratic surroundings. [...]

  • Gabrielle Carteris participates in Fox's "BH90210"

    SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris on Weinstein Verdict: 'You Can't Hide Any Longer'

    SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris has hailed the verdicts in the Harvey Weinstein case, with the disgraced ex-mogul found guilty of committing a criminal sexual act and third-degree rape. “Justice was served today and Harvey Weinstein was held accountable for his crimes,” Carteris said. “But it is only a beginning. We look forward to the Weinstein [...]

  • Michael Jordan Crying Meme Kobe Bryant

    Michael Jordan Jokes About Crying Meme During Emotional Kobe Bryant Speech

    Michael Jordan, arguably the greatest basketball player of all-time, delivered one of the most raw and powerful speeches at Kobe Bryant’s public memorial on Monday. He also evoked the most laughter. After fondly telling stories about his “little brother” Bryant, a visibly upset Jordan joked about his wildly popular Internet meme. “Now I’ll have to [...]

  • Amazon Making the Cut Heidi Klum

    'Making the Cut' Trailer: Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn Return With New Amazon Series

    Fans who miss Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn’s presence on their television screens can now take a first sneak peek at their upcoming fashion design competition series on Amazon, “Making the Cut,” which debuts on Prime Video on March 27. The former “Project Runway” host and mentor are giving 12 designers and entrepreneurs the chance [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content