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."