Sunday, November 2, 2008

Tom and Jerry are not PC.

My kids ~love~ Tom & Jerry. I think it's awesome because I too loved Tom and Jerry. There is an hour long block of T&J cartoons today (probably every sunday or even everyday) and as I was setting up my new computer workspace, I was watching it with them.

My goodness, it's ~so~ not politically correct! But for the time, no one blinked an eye. I wonder if there are any episodes the networks have completely banned. I seem to remember some really bad ones using the very stereotypical and racist image of a "mammy"-like black maid and cook for a white household. In 1940, when Tom and Jerry was first produced, I'm sure no one took offense. Well, at least the general public. I could definitely see how many of the groups it depicted wouldn't like it.

I just checked out Wikipedia on it and read this:
Like a number of other animated cartoons in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, Tom
and Jerry was not considered politically correct in later years. There were at
least twenty-four cartoons that featured either racism or with characters shown
in blackface following an explosion, which are subsequently cut when shown on
television today, although The Yankee Doodle Mouse blackface gag is still shown
in other countries. The black maid, Mammy Two Shoes, is often considered racist
because she is depicted as a poor black woman who has a rodent problem. Her
voice was redubbed by Turner in the mid-1990s in hopes of making the character
sound less stereotypical. One cartoon in particular, His Mouse Friday, is often
banned from television due to the cannibals being seen as racist stereotypes. If
shown, the cannibals' dialogue is edited out, although their mouths can be seen
moving.

So I was right, much is cut out, like it should. Although I do think the cannibal racism is quite funny. Unless it's a different kind of racism and not just about cannibals themselves. Hrm, the Boomerang channel has planned to edit out "where the characters were seen to be smoking in a manner that was 'condoned, acceptable or glamorised'". Good for them!

I do get a little bummed when classic cartoons and stories are edited for today's audience, but I completely agree with this type of editing. The storied that have irritated me are the "nice" version of Grimm's Fairy Tales. They're grimm for a reason people! I bought a Goldilocks and the Three Bears book only to read, to my amazement, how they all sat down and shared dinner at the end. Bah. By protecting children in such a manner, we're going to raise a nation of pussies.

6 comments:

margelina said...

Chrsi and I have talked before how some of the older stuff is like that. Even reallly old Disney cartoons. We have these Disney Favorites Kids CD's, and some of the lyrics are seriously racist. Weird.

Carrie said...

Did you hear about when the Sesame Street dvds were released? They have a parental warning on them that they are for adults and not suitable for children.

Yes... a generation of wussies.

Heather said...

Hahahaha! My Brigid and Maggie are TOTAL Tom and Jerry freaks!!!! They love that show. I get nervous sometimes bc it is pretty violent without anyone getting hurt. But then my hubby reminds me that we watched it growing up and all turned out ok.... (well, kinda ok, LOL).
Heather

Hollie said...

Funny and informative! T&J are so bad but still funny. It may be politically incorrect, but it's better than Sponge Bob and others who talk about pooping and farting all the time.

Katherine said...

The best non-PC cartoon is the old Speedy Gonzales stuff, with his horrible accent and his cousin "Slowpoke Rodriguez," who is always drunk or high or something. I especially like the episodes where he sings La Cucaracha..."the cockroach can't walk, because he has no mairjuana to smoke..."
Here's one:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJ0L3sDfN0U

sacredandscarred said...

TBB loves T&J as well.