…When Tom and Jerry Put Down the Havanas and Picked up the Patch (Tom and Jerry Smoking)


Smoking scenes in vintage cartoon episodes of Tom and Jerry, The Flintstones and Scooby-Doo are being reworked after a viewer complained they were not suitable for children.

Cartoon editors are painstakingly working through more than 1,500 episodes of Tom and Jerry cartoons, painting out images of characters smoking frame by frame.

Turner Broadcasting, which owns the rights to the cartoons, claims the move is a voluntary step. But don’t believe it when you hear it was spurred on by an angry viewer complaining about suitability for children. This kind of thing is done to snag a little good PR. Smoking is the evil of the moment, so everyone who comes out against it gets to paint themselves as conscientious and concerned about the state of American youth.

Really, if Turner gave a shit about children being exposed to negative influences, they could recommend that someone turn off the television and send the little tykes out into the open air for some Red Light Green Light or fort building. Do kids even do that kind of thing anymore?

Instead, we get more revisionist history, and little Tom and Jerry pay the price. They’ll still be slamming each other in the head with frying pans. They’ll still be sticking each other’s tongues into live outlets. But at least they won’t have blacklung.

And while it’s true that I did take up smoking when I was pretty young (on and off from the age of 14 until my early thirties), it wasn’t becasue I saw a cartoon cat doing it. It was because I saw Humphrey Bogart, Bette Davis, and Rock Hudson doing it. Turner owns the rights to a lot of those movies too, but it’s much easier to attack cartoons. They’re silly and light-hearted and their goal is to entertain kids, so they can’t have much cultural relevance.

On the upside, I’m glad to hear Tom and Jerry cartoons are still playing somewhere.

And I’m sure un-edited versions are available in some over-priced, under-whelming DVD set.

I blame George Lucas.

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2 Responses to “…When Tom and Jerry Put Down the Havanas and Picked up the Patch (Tom and Jerry Smoking)”

  1. i’ve a couple of banned cartoons on my pc, and somewhere a link to a site with more.

    gone are the black and white wwII toons and all the toons where the characters make fun of blacks. i can see that they’re not longer being shown to children, but they’re still historically relevant and i hope not lost forever.

    some of my favs are popeye fighting japs and nazis. the japs were always teeny and had big glasses, and the nazis always had little hitler mustaches. and omg at bugs on an island and ending up in a pot, a decorative bone on his head, and pretending to have big lips.

  2. p.s.

    wonder why the hooping and hollering indian toons and movies are still allowed?

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