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‘Itchy and Scratchy’ to be edited out of ‘The Simpsons’ in Russia

by at 30/08/2012 17:40


Scratchy the Cat may have survived the claws of his nemesis Itchy the Mouse, but he could not survive Russian legislators, whose new law will see the segment within “The Simpsons” show cut.

The law “On the protection of children from information harmful to their health and development” could force channels to edit popular cartoons like “The Simpsons” and “South Park.”

The Simpsons will be edited 

TV Channel 2x2, which shows American cartoons with characters often drinking, fighting, swearing and talking about sex, will edit “The Simpsons” to conform to the new law.

The “Itchy and Scratchy” cartoons that Bart and Lisa watch in almost every episode will be cut. The cartoons are a parody of “Tom and Jerry,” where the mouse keeps killing the cat in various painful ways.

“Of course, the new law on protection of children from harmful information will affect the 2x2 TV channel programming. In particular, according to the new law, we cannot show the ‘Itchy and Scratchy’ show from ‘The Simpsons’,” the channel’s director general Lev Makarov told Interfax.

Some episodes can only be shown between 11 p.m. and 4 a.m.

The channel will also not be able to show South Park episodes where Kenny is killed. The show will be moved to the 11 p.m.-4 a.m. time period.

“Actually the programs with images that fall under the new law we will edit, with a hint of irony. For example, we will cover the screen and write a funny text. Some swearing by the characters will be noised over,” Makarov said, adding that he expected a change in viewing figures.

Officials promise no bans for Soviet classics

And while the president of Transcontinental Media Company, Alexander Metroshenkov, promised that “Nu Pogodi” and “Crocodile Gena and Friends” will not be edited, no such promises were made for popular American cartoons “The Simpsons” and “South Park.”

United Russia members also argue that the law does not threaten Soviet classics. “I advise those who worry a lot to read the law, because it says that when it is part of an artistic idea, and there is no situation that promotes smoking or drinking alcohol, then there is no aim to ban it,” said the deputy secretary of United Russia head council and State Duma vice-speaker, Sergei Zheleznyak.

Classics affected

The images considered as dangerous to children’s psyche would lead to a number of classic films banned from daytime TV, Slon.ru reported.

For example, of the most loved Soviet TV series, “Seventeen Moments of Spring,” where the main character, a Soviet spy in Berlin smokes a lot. It also contains archive footage from the war and concentration camps, including images of a pile of naked corpses collected by a tractor. This is juxtaposed with the plush aesthetics of the Third Reich.

“Pretty Woman” with Julia Roberts and Richard Gere would also be banned, since it shows that a woman can marry a millionaire if she becomes a prostitute.

“American Beauty,” the five-time Oscar winner, could be seen as containing both homophobia and gay propaganda.

“Romeo and Juliette,” in any interpretation, also falls victim of the new law, as it promotes underage sex and suicide and denies family values.

Under the new law, Sergei Bondarchuk’s “War and Peace” has already earned an 18+ rating.

Stupidity knows no boundaries – Livanov

Vasily Livanov, who played and voiced pipe smokers Sherlock Holmes and Crocodile Gena, was not impressed.

“Stupidity knows no boundaries,” he told Moskovsky Komsomolets. It is not new. It happened with the Soviet authorities too. It is such bigotry that it cannot fail to outrage. It is also dangerous to drive cars, yet why don’t they stick posters with torn limbs on them? It is stupid bigotry. So what, now both Sherlock Holmes and Crocodile Gena will have to be banned? He also smokes. So all moral values should be cancelled out because of one pipe? I refuse to try to understand it.”

Animator Eduard Nazarov, who worked on “Winnie the Pooh” and “Once Upon a Dog,” agreed with Livanov.

“Those who came up with it understand nothing in children, in anything,” he told Gazeta.ru, adding that the bans would lead to kids watching more American films.

“I expect anything from those, who suggest it, because these are fascist steps regarding the people.”


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