Cartoon scenes go up in smoke

From Reuters

Turner Broadcasting is scouring more than 1,500 classic Hanna-Barbera cartoons, including “Tom and Jerry,” “The Flintstones” and “Scooby-Doo,” to edit out scenes that glamorize smoking.

The review was triggered by a complaint to British media regulator Ofcom by one viewer who took offense to two episodes of “Tom and Jerry” shown on the Boomerang channel, part of Turner Broadcasting, which itself belongs to Time Warner Inc.

“We are going through the entire catalog,” Yinka Akindele, spokeswoman for Turner in Europe, said Monday. Turner Broadcasting in the United States could not immediately be reached for comment.

“This is a voluntary step we’ve taken in light of the changing times,” Akindele said, adding the painstaking review had been prompted by the Ofcom complaint.


Ofcom said it recognized smoking was more generally accepted when cartoons were produced in the 1940s, ‘50s and ‘60s, but argued that the threshold for including such scenes when the audience was predominantly young should be high.