Kids TV show Bluey has come under fire after a recent episode contained a plot line around dad Bandit and his fitness, with some social media users labelling it as "fat-shaming", while Today host Karl Stefanovic has defended the show.
In the episode, which is titled 'Exercise', the show addresses the difficulties parents face around exercise and taking care of themselves around work and their children.
The episode shows parents Bandit and Chilli weighing themselves, with Bandit saying, "Aw man," before touching his stomach.
He then decides he wants to do more exercise and rallies the family to do a family workout in the backyard together.
While some viewers thought it was a good episode to highlight the importance of health, others thought it was sending a toxic message.
"Apparently, Bluey is totally OK with fat shaming now," TikTok user Aussie Girl Margie said. "I mean, overall the message of the episode was fantastic. But 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."
"I love #bluey but today's new episode starting with Bandit and Chilli jumping on the scales and being disappointed with their weight, followed by Bandit grabbing the skin on his tummy, was not it," one Twitter user wrote.
"I adore @OfficialBlueyTV & the messages it sends. Except in the latest episode 'Exercise', where weight becomes a trigger for exercise," another added. "Watching Bandit stand on scale& squeeze his belly, frowning, sends a msg to kids that fat = bad & exercise = weight loss. V upsetting."
Karl hit out at the critics, saying it was an accurate depiction of what happens in Australian households.
"Can you believe this, I think that is just fantastic, I mean, it is a bit of Australiana," he said. "It plays out in households across Australia and all of these influencers are coming out now going, 'Oh, Bluey is fat-shaming, it's disgusting', give it a rest! Come on!"
He added, "That's a really good message - I've had enough of these influencers. "
Sarah Abo agreed, saying the scene is something that happens every day.
"You can't say anything or do anything any more," she said.
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