SHORT TAKES : Phallic Symbol on ‘Mermaid’?

<i> From Times Wire Services</i>

A supermarket chain has pulled copies of the animated movie “The Little Mermaid” off its shelves because a customer complained that artwork on the cover contains an offensive phallic symbol.

“Because of the complaint, we’ve pulled the tape pending investigation,” said Becca Anderson, a spokeswoman for Bashas’ grocery stores. The tape remained off the shelves Thursday and it was uncertain when it would return, she said.

The complaint was lodged by Michelle Couch of Mesa, who said her husband pointed out the offending artwork to her last week. She said she complained to Bashas’ only after being ignored by Disney. No other stores had removed the tape from their shelves.


Couch said on a radio talk show Thursday that “pulling tapes off the shelf is not my objective.”

What she wanted to accomplish, she said, is to have Disney reprint the labels.

Tanya Steele, vice president of publicity for Buena Vista Home Video, a Disney subsidiary, said nearly 8 million copies of “The Little Mermaid” have been sold.

About a dozen people have complained about a phallic symbol they believe is part of a golden castle drawn on the cover of the videotape, she said. Steele said it is not likely that the drawing will be changed. “It’s hard to decide if 12 calls warrant changing the entire artwork, “ she said.