Danes divided over children's TV show about a superpower penis

Tim Barsoe

By Tim Barsoe

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - A Danish animated children's TV show about a man with the superpower of an infinitely extendable penis has divided opinion among parents and politicians in Denmark.

The show, "John Dillermand" - which roughly translates as 'John Pee-Pee' - has aired on state broadcaster DR since late December. The show features an animated clay man in a striped red and white outfit with an extendable - sometimes helpful, sometimes out of control, yet fully clothed - penis.

Even in famously progressive Denmark, not everyone is happy.

Some Danes have taken to social media, calling it "disgusting" and "below standards" for a show targeted at children aged 4 to 8.

"Am I the only one who finds it reprehensible that children should find it fun to watch adult penises on DR?," Morten Messerschmidt, a lawmaker for the conservative Danish People's Party, wrote on Twitter.

Author Anne Lise Marstrand-Jørgensen asked if the show was "really the message we want to send to children, at a time when we're in the midst of a huge #metoo wave?"

Others called it "funny" and "harmless".

In the TV show, the penis gets caught in the door of a bus, holds onto balloons as the character flies up into the air, and is used as both a helicopter rotor and a whip to tame a lion.

DR said the show aims to recognize children's curiosity about their bodies, including the parts they might find embarrassing, by having a childish adult with an unusual body as the main character.

"Small children enjoy being naked and exploring themselves. They play doctor games, examine each other and love naughty words," Margrethe Bruun Hansen, a children's psychologist consulted in the making of the show, told DR.

(Reporting by Tim Barsoe; Editing by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen and Rosalba O'Brien)