Before this week, I was completely unaware of Maya the Bee. The computer-generated animated series in question is based on the title character which was created way back in 1912 by German author Waldemar Bonsels. The children’s story follows Maya and her insect friends as she grows up and learns to be a responsible member of her local bee society. It’s seems as if those lessons were lost on one (or more) animator(s) working on the modern version of Maya the Bee since they decided to sneak a cartoon penis into the kids show as a joke.
That’s how Maya the Bee came to be on my radar. As Variety reports, a parent was watching the show with her child when she noticed what was very obviously a penis “hidden” in a scene. Since this is 2017 and not a pre-internet era when such blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moments were more difficult to capture and next to impossible to share with the world, the concerned parent took to Facebook to spread the news. Uproar ensued. Netflix soon pulled the offending episode of the Studio 100 Animation production. Now, the French studio has issued a response.
But before we get to it, here’s the cartoon penis in question from Maya the Bee. (Avert thine eyes!)
It’s a dick on some rocks, alright. Here’s what Studio 100 Animation has to say for themselves:
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. The origin of this image obviously results from a very bad joke from one of the 150 artists working on the production … 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.
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. 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.
Uh ohhhhhh someone’s in troubllllle! Variety also reported that the studio is currently not able to press legal charges since the artist or artists have yet to be identified. However, the image had been inserted during either the compositing or layout stages, narrowing the culprit(s) down to a pool of about 150 people. Someone’s going to name names. Meanwhile, the segment in question was retrofitted with the appropriately dick-less rocky background and is currently being distributed to the studio’s 100+ clients.
Hey, kids gotta learn sometime, right? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments!