It looks like Tom and Jerry (not to mention Barney and Fred, Yogi and Booboo) all have to give up smoking. Next thing you know they will ban those great candy cigarettes and the gum cigarettes with paper wrappers that look like smokes and blow a puff of sugar our when you exhale through them….(jeez..it’s no wonder I was smoker…)
A channel airing the cartoons has agreed to cut scenes that glamorise smoking after British media regulator Ofcom received a complaint from a viewer who took offence at two episodes.
In the first, “Texas Tom”, the hapless cat Tom tries to impress a feline female by rolling a cigarette, lighting it and smoking it with one hand. In the second, “Tennis Chumps”, Tom’s opponent in a match smokes a large cigar.
In a bulletin posted online, Ofcom noted “concerns that smoking on television may normalise smoking”, and said that the Turner company, licensee for Boomerang which aired the cartoons, had agreed to edit some smoking scenes out of “Tom and Jerry”.
“The licensee has … proposed editing any scenes or references in the series where smoking appeared to be condoned, acceptable, glamorised or where it might encourage imitation”, Ofcom said, adding that “Texas Tom” was one such example.
But it would not cut all smoking scenes, it added.
Ofcom said it recognized smoking was more generally accepted when cartoons were produced in the 1940s, 50s and 60s, but noted that the threshold for including such scenes when the audience is predominately young should be high.
The Belgian cartoonist Maurice de Bevere replaced his famous creation Lucky Luke’s ubiquitous cigarette with a blade of grass, winning him official recognition from the World Health Organisation in 1988.