Monday, August 21, 2006

Signs of Political Correctness Gone Mad No 94

LONDON (AFP) - Smoking scenes in "Tom and Jerry" cartoons are now banned in Britain, following a viewer's complaint to the government agency that polices the airwaves.
In one episode of the classic US cartoon series, Tom is seen smoking a roll-up cigarette in a bid to impress a female cat. In another, Tom's opponent in a tennis match was seen smoking a large cigar. Following an investigation prompted by the anonymous viewer's complaint, regulator Ofcom said Monday that children's TV channel Boomerang has agreed to edit out scenes deemed to glamorise or condone smoking. "We note that, in 'Tom and Jerry', smoking usually appears in a stylised manner and is frequently not condoned," said Ofcom, recalling how the cartoons were made in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s when smoking was not so controversial. "However, while we appreciate the historic integrity of the animation, the level of editorial justification required for the inclusion of smoking in such cartoons is necessarily high."

What on earth has happened to our country?

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

The T&J cartoons with smoking were the later editions. The best T&J cartoons were the earlier more violent ones produced by Fred Quimby.

Personally I would not mind if they never showed the lesser and later cartoons ever again.

The Grumbler said...

I'm no fan of smoking, but this is daft. What's next, are they going to take out all the violence too? I remember reading once that the average Tom & Jerry short contains more instances of violence than 'The Terminator', so clearly it must be harming the young.

To quote Helen Lovejoy "Won't somebody think of the children!" ;)

temple melville said...

Yes its insane - as is the present hysteria about blowing up aircraft with olive oil and handcream

Anonymous said...

If you get to be an MP please make sure that fluffy Dave & Co cut out this silliness.

Beachhutman said...

>>level of editorial justification required for the inclusion of smoking in such cartoons is necessarily high.<<

What utter, complete, asinine bullshit and pompous blether. It doesn't need any fecking "editorial justification" at all, it's a fecking CARTOON.

Odessa Calling said...

But if Tom was seen sniffing coke or injecting himself with heroin, that would be OK.

the northern soul boy said...

The thing is, Iain, you either go with political correectness, or you don't.
This is no less nutty than A lists, which is no less nutty than affirmative action, which is no less nutty than... well, you get the picture.

Peter Hitchens said...

What about the racial stereotyping?
remember that big black momma in the slippers ?
Thoooooooooomas!

Buster George said...

I am a mixed race,muslim born convert to judaism, wheelchair bound, gay hermaphrodite social worker.

And as such am the only person in the UK who should have an opinion.

view from the solent said...

“smoking …. is frequently not condoned” Huh? Not just tossers, but illiterate tossers.

beethoven writes said...

Oh yes, I so very much agree with this decision. Having been so greatly influenced by this cartoon series when younger, I regularly settle disputes by bashing people over the head with frying pans and setting fire to their tail coats to surprise them.

Aaaarrrggghhhh!

Cranmer said...

In order to accommodate the new PC regime, ALL unacceptable practices and phrases, no matter how historic or contextual, are to be abolished. I recally Guy Gibson's (Dambusters) dog was called 'nigger'. That is now dubbed when screened on TV, to 'blackie'. We are being forced to re-write history to accommodate 21st-century hyper-sensitivity. It makes one yearn for the 16th, when one could call the Pope antichrist and get away with it...almost...

Praguetory said...

I agree there's no reason this shouldn't be on TV...but there is plenty of stuff I wish they would censor. I'd start with the WWF (no the wrestling, not the Discovery Channel). It's clear that this really does cause violent behaviour in kids.

ian said...

I think you'll find that the phrase "political correctness gone mad" is copyright Associated Newspapers. Please cease and desist from using it.

Are you a regular viewer of the Boomerang channel, or are you just being outraged for the sake of it?

towcestarian said...

As a shareholder in various tobacco firms, I am horrified at what his decision will do to my dividends. These PC wallahs are just so inconsiderate.

bebopper said...

I understand Enid Blyton's Famous Five books have been reprinted and extensively "edited" to eliminate insensitive material which was acceptable in the forties and fifties, but could corrupt children and upset minorities now.
Lets face it. We were an uncivilised lot back then and thank God for the age of enlightment now.
Next up, Richmal Crompton's William?

billy said...

Buster George said...
I am a mixed race,muslim born convert to judaism, wheelchair bound, gay hermaphrodite social worker.

And as such am the only person in the UK who should have an opinion.

9:57 PM

But you're not an NUT member?

Annie Mouse said...

what's crazy about this story is that somebody is more upset about the smoking in Tom & Jerry, than the violence.

thats whats nuts about it.

Tim Almond said...

Iain,

So, do you support the scrapping of OFCOM, the government instutition that got involved in this?

Is that also Conservative Party policy?

permanentexpat said...

Why the surprize? have you forgotten where you live?

permanentexpat said...

Why the surprize?
have you forgotten where you live?

Graham E said...

So for all we know a smoking gun may have been found in Iraq but had to be censored out. Possible n'est pas?

Lobster Blogster said...

Speaking as a cartoon crustacean I think you should be made aware that a very large weight marked "1 ton" is descending from the sky above you...

Vienna Woods said...

Since the 70's when Ken Livingstone launched the social hell on London, by employing latter day lesbian hippies singing "All you need is Love" and screwing about with the minds of the young and infecting any idiot willing to listen, we've endured political correctness. It stopped for a while when Maggie Thatcher sunk her sharp little teeth into his arse and disbanded the GLC. We now need someone with larger, sharper teeth to put this country firmly back on its feet by dealing with this nonsense once and for all. My only question is, "Who will do it?" . is the Hoodie Hugger man for the job????

javelin said...

What exactly are they banning. I've never smoked in my life - but some consistency is needed here.

Is is a cat smoking? How old is Tom. Does the censor count in cat years?

Is it smoking on childrens programs?

If it's smoking on children's TV programs then I suggest the censor visits every film with people smoking in it and reclassifies it so that it can only be shown after the watershed.

Fruning Graplecard said...

I woke up this morning feeling Grumpy (as Snow White might have said). This story hasn't helped.

What gets on my threepenny bits is the total arbitraryness of it all. Worshippers at the alter of PC are frequently nasty little tossers with no mandate from anybody but a small number of other nasty little PC tossers.

Doing ordinary, everyday things,(like photographing your granchild in the park) using local language and argot(not using the term "Pet" in the NE), enjoying dubious humour (A "My dog eats Jehovah's Witnesses" sign - now a hate crime) and generally pratting about (the fireman in the dryer) is part of living life and play and should not be the subject of Health and Safety rules, or come under the jurisdiction of non-elected officials.

I think this story is not about protecting children at all. It is about appeasing some crapulous nonentity who wants to be important and can only do so by complaining.

machiavelli said...

Isn't it a little cruel to make a cat smoke a cigar anyway?

Yak40 said...

The natural result of an electorate obsesessed with PC and stupid enough to keep voting for the same sorry crew time after time.

Cranmer said...

Isn't it a little cruel to make a cat smoke a cigar anyway?

His Grace had not considered this, and thanks you. On reflection, the fact that watching Tom & Jerry may persuade proponents of Animal Testing that there is a moral case for forcing God's creatures to smoke, all in the name of research, of course, has changed His Grace's opinion on the matter.

Smoking in Tom & Jerry may therefore be banned, insofar as it leads otherwise intelligent scientists astray, but the Protestant dimension of the Constitution of the United Kingdom must stand. This leads no-one astray.

dracula said...

Vienna Woods said...
We now need someone with larger, sharper teeth to put this country firmly back on its feet by dealing with this nonsense once and for all. My only question is, "Who will do it?"
11:50 AM

I haven't gone away you know.

Anonymous said...

What's interesting about this story is how (a) Tom and Jerry are so repeatedly targetted, bit like Enid Blyton, they seem to represent something awful to the fake-PC crowd (use the word fake advisedly - they are all raving hypocrites) which attracts their ravings and (b) how utterly useless Ofcom are in all other (much more important) respects, such as the deluge of sickening violence in _real life_ programs now crowding on all cable channels thinly dressed up as reality. Ofcom have also repeatedly failed to understand the perverted degradation brewing in programmes like Big Brother, which should really be removed from television. Yet the much-loved and classic T & J once more is at the very centre of Ofcom's attention.

Still, Ofcom is no weaker than the many other supposed "regulators" apppointed by Maggie/Major/Blair. Perhaps it will occur to someone in this country before too long has passed that the actual "managers" who run things should both manage those things and be held fully accountable for their actions. Until that happens, we will be at the mercy of Media Studies graduates made good working in the regulators pontificating to the rest of us poor deluded swine who let all this happen.

garypowell said...

What I dont understand is why so many authoritarians think that the young can be so easily influenced for "good" or "bad," in a free sociaty?

We have over 4.5 million regular pot smokers and it seems a cocain problem even in the house of Lords. We have scruffy dirty smelly badly dressed young people, most of which go or have gone to university. We have under age unmarried girls having children more then ever before. To my understanding capitalism or cartoons have very little to do with this. In a free sociaty young people are just like that, rebelious and sometimes a bit self destructive. Tell them to many times not to do something and even the most intelligent young person will end up doing the exact opposite.

IMHO the problem is made worse, then it would otherwise be, by the systematic destruction of the traditional family by the state. Not Tom and Jerry or any other cartoons.

Wide scale smoking and drinking started way before tobacco and alcohol advertising. Pot smoking started when university types started bringing it home from their holiday trips to India and Nepal.

There are simply so many dangerous things that young people do to improve their sense of worth and understanding of themselves and the world.

How can anyone explain to the young that they should really give a dam about what MAY happen to them in 40 to 60 years time. When most of them will claim that they would rather be dead than 70 years old anyway?

The state thinking it can do what a loving family could not, is dangerous N.U.T. inspired, authoritarian socialist, bullshit.

What is really sad is that, not only will this type of dictatorial thinking not work, it will make the situation even worse.

Anonymous said...

Tom & Jerry cartoons are all party of the "WORLD ZIONIST CONSPIRACY", apparently.

http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=19409&only

F0ul said...

Maybe Tom & Jerry could be the mascots for a PC revolt? They are not as bad as Itchy & Scratchy - and a LOT less violent that the usual Japanese Anime!

I notice even the HSE are getting peeved at their H&S Risk assesments being used in vain!

The Great Gildersleeve said...

Most of what we class as classic cartoons were produced for adults and if children enjoyed then(usually on a different level)it was a bonus.

Television may have opened the cartoons up for great accessibility audience wise but because they are broadcast as children's entertainment many are now not shown at all or have been hacked to bits, parts of them make no sense.

Long before this present story broke I found a site telling of so many cuts that have been made to cartoons over the years(the last time I tried to find it I was directed to a dodgy site)I'd love to find it again.

I purchased a set of Tom & Jerry DVD's about a year ago and even they were changed to how I originally saw them on terrestrial television.

I want to see an hear my books, television, films etc...as made. If I dislike something or disagree I want that to be my decision not changed for me. If it was wrong or out of step with present learn from it and move on.

I may be contradicting myself but I have more of a problem with programmes like Big Brother than what Tom & Jerry did.

But as even BBC7 is now editing or putting out apology announcements regarding Round The Horne and Hancock's Half Hour and have even removed some I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again programmes all together(I'm not sure if BBC7 did this in case of complaints received)or thinking ahead of possible problems but it doesn't surprise me.

The apology announcement usually runs along the lines "These programmes were produced in a less enlightened time"

Anonymous said...

That site is funny. http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=19409&only

So their country is on the brink of all out nuclear war and they are concerned with clandestine mice?

I didn't know that Auschwitz was a Walt Disney production. I thought like many others is really did happen! Silly me.

I think I'll put my rag hat on! It helps me think better and rationalise. Ah yes that's better.

Tom is western propaganda - evil doer

Jerry is a Jew and Spike? Spike is probably a disabled, transsexual terrorist who has just converted to Islam. He is acceptable.

John - Londonistan