Warner Bros. Accused of Censorship as Fracas Erupts Over ‘Tom and Jerry’ Cartoons

Aug 12, 2013  •  Post A Comment

A controversy has erupted over Warner Bros.’ Golden Collection of "Tom and Jerry" cartoons, after two episodes were pulled from the latest Blu-ray disc set because the cat and mouse were in blackface, reports the U.K. publication The Independent.

"The controversy surrounds the second installment of Warner Brothers’ ‘Golden Collection,’ which fans believed would be a full chronological and uncut series," the story reports. "It was meant to have been released two months ago but still hasn’t reached the shops and may not be seen until next year. Fans complain that the planned running order omitted Casanova Cat and Mouse Cleaning, episodes from 1951 and 1948 that are often censored when broadcast on children’s TV."

In one of the episodes Tom tries to impress a female cat by putting blackface on Jerry, who then performs a minstrel dance, the story says. In another episode, Tom wears blackface.

The piece notes, "Adult collectors say they are grown-up enough — and understand the time the cartoons were made — to be trusted with the material."

Customers have taken to Amazon’s pre-sale order pages to complain, with one customer writing, "Culture is always reflected in cartoons, and while this may not have been right, it existed. It is a shame to omit pieces of history in a collection simply due to PR getting shaky boots over the past."

A representative for Warner Bros. said, "The company felt that certain content would be inappropriate for the intended audience and therefore excluded several shorts."

5 Comments

  1. Not unusual. We ran Bugs Bunny/Daffy Duck cartoons in the 1970s at the TV station where I worked. Many of the originals from the 1940s we purchased had to be edited, e.g., http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Coy_Decoy

  2. If you are an adult and a company is selling the “complete” collection, then ti should be complete. Did they also delete the WWII cartoons where they portray Japanese as monkies also?
    To ignore history is to repeat the mistakes.

  3. Be sure to pick up a copy of “Holiday Inn” now before all copies have the “Abraham” number removed. :(

  4. And don’t forget the classic WB Bugs Bunny toons spoofing…everybody: Southerners, orientals, minstrels, Italians, French, Germans, Brits.

  5. “Did they also delete the WWII cartoons where they portray Japanese as monkies also?”
    Yes, they did.
    Why wouldn’t they?
    (Rhetorical question.)
    Back to work:

Your Comment

Email (will not be published)