Monday, August 21, 2006

No Smoking?

This reeks. The faint-hearts at Turner/Time-Warner are, apparently excising cartoon characters smoking legal substances from 1,500 old cartoons. In Europe. All because of one complaint... " The regulator's latest news bulletin stated that a viewer, who was not identified, had complained about two smoking scenes on Tom and Jerry, saying they "were not appropriate in a cartoon aimed at children." In the first, "Texas Tom," the hapless cat Tom tries to impress a feline female by rolling a cigarette, lighting it and smoking it with one hand. In the second, "Tennis Chumps," Tom's opponent in a match smokes a large cigar. "The licensee has ... proposed editing any scenes or references in the series where smoking appeared to be condoned, acceptable, glamorized or where it might encourage imitation," Ofcom said, adding that "Texas Tom" was one such example. Here's an idea: why not just tough it out and politely decline to change anything? Why not just leave the 'toons the way their creators made them? And leave it at that? The Nanny State? The Nanny multi-national conglomerate? Is there really a frigging difference? Sometimes I wonder.

8 comments:

Kevin Langley said...

This is the most absurd thing I've seen in a long time. If one person complains that there's not enough smoking in these cartoons will they put it back in? This makes me genuinely angry Time/Warner doesn't even deserve to own the rights to these shorts. First Mammy Two-shoes now smoking. What's next?

Anonymous said...

Dear Tom and Jerry:
Light'em up boys.

Unknown said...

Reminds me of the Edit of Disney's Pecos Bill - There are some rather nasty jump cuts and strange animation in that film because of the smoking censorship.

Let's hope this doesn't happen to too many others like Texas Tom...

Anonymous said...

I hope they don't go after Pinnochio with Lampwick. You remember Lampy and Pinnoch smoking stogies and downing pints of draft lager.

Amazing. I thought I had seen it all when in the Bruckheimer/Disney film Pearl Harbor, no one smoked. In reality everyone from Franklin Roosevelt on down lit up. Senator Bob Dole recalled when he was in the hospital the nurse brought him cigarettes on a plate for desert!

When will people realize this took place in it's time period? Screwing with it is like fixing the crack in the Liberty Bell.

Anonymous said...

Everyone seems to be missing a key phrase here; "...Aimed at children."
The complainer is articulating the stigma our art form has regrettably acquired in recent years, i.e. that all animation is made for children.
We're not censors, we're just protecting the kids. You can't blame us for that!

These cartoons, of course, were not made for children. They were made for adults, and therefor reflect adult content standards. Audiences at the time, not yet influenced by television programming, were less judemental about the mediom. They would no sooner automatically consider anything animated as intended for children than we would consider a New Yorker panel cartoon or a political cartoon intended for children.

This pidgeonholing of our medium has been a creative ball-and-chain for us for years. It's a much bigger problem than some misguided mother-hen
censorship.

Kevin Koch said...

Well said.

Anonymous said...

start writing your congressmen

David Germain said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
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