Zoe Marshall - the wife of Kiwi league star Benji Marshall - has banned their toddler from watching animated TV series Peppa Pig because she thinks its main character is "too manipulative".

The high-profile Sydney-based couple's 1-year-old son Fox is no longer allowed to watch the show after Zoe - a radio and podcast host - recently caught part of an episode.

"It was kind of on in the background and I just heard things that I didn't agree with - you wouldn't put up with that sort of thing in everyday life," she said.

"I was like, 'this this little pig, is this her attitude all the time or have I caught her on a bad day?'."


"She was negotiating and manipulating every situation, and wasn't taking care of her little brother [George]. She was just using him as a pawn to get what she wanted."

Marshall said the messaging this provided children was "confusing".

If Fox was watching anything, she wanted it to be educational, or at least showing her son how to be kind.

While Peppa was off the cards, she said the couple did have their coping mechanisms for when Fox was "losing it".

"We'll play Baby Shark, or Elmo. Those are the two that he absolutely loves, that will calm him down if nothing else does.

It's not the first time the animated pig has come under fire.

The cartoon character was blocked from an online video channel last year in China, after becoming associated with a "gangster' subculture.

The fallout came after Peppa became popculture of people known as "shehuiren" - a group known for holding anti-establishment views.


And in 2017 an old episode of Peppa Pig was pulled off the air in Australia, following complaints it told children to pick up and play with dangerous spiders.

In response to Zoe Marshall's stance, The Parenting Place's creative director David Atkinson said it was great parents were paying attention to what kids were watching.

Zoe Marshall said she'd rather her son Fox had a tantrum, than was quiet while watching Peppa Pig. Image / File
Zoe Marshall said she'd rather her son Fox had a tantrum, than was quiet while watching Peppa Pig. Image / File

"The issue for me is not so much Peppa Pig - I couldn't say whether that is a legitimate thing to be worried about," he said.

"But I do think parents need to have more conversations about the influence that TV's having on kids."

Atkinson pointed out TV presented an opportunity for parents to talk to their kids about certain types of behaviour, like manipulation

"Kids don't often learn from a one-off lecture, but they do learn from having lots of conversations over a period of time."

While Peppa Pig viewing could be having a negative impact, Atkinson said parents needed to pick their battles.

"When you've had a stressful day, a bit of Peppa might be just what you need to clear your head and entertain the kids."