Censorship is, unfortunately, a part of our daily lives, but you’d be a little surprised to learn that even Cartoon Network is getting in on the action.
The network decided to censor a scene of two women dancing romantically for the UK broadcast of the show Steven Universe. In the episode, the dance scene with Pearl and Quartz is replaced with close-ups of entirely different characters, which led to a petition calling for CN to reconsider. What’s more, the scene with opposite-sex kissing was left in the episode and Cartoon Network refused to back down from their decision.
In a statement to PinkNews, CN said: “Cartoon Network (in Europe) often shows amended versions of programs from US originals.
“The US broadcast system requires that shows are marked with a rating –in this case PG (parental guidance necessary). In the UK we have to ensure everything on air is suitable for kids of any age at any time.
“We do feel that the slightly edited version is more comfortable for local kids and their parents.
Steven Universe has won critical acclaim for its progressive nature, incision of strong, female leads and for not shying away from same-sex relationships. In fact, former co-executive producer Ian Jones-Quarterly confirmed: “R & S are in a romantic relationship and I don’t believe any different.”
Not for anything, but the creators of the show know who the audience is and if they feel that the material is suitable for kids then it probably is. This case is surely no different. Love is love, folks. That said, CN continued with their defense.
“We have an ongoing dialogue with our audiences and our shows reflect their preferences. Research shows that UK kids often watch with younger siblings without parental supervision.
“Be assured that as a channel and network we celebrate diversity – evident across many of our shows and characters.”
All well and good, but their claims are inconsistent with the British ratings system, which allows kissing and cuddling in “U” rated shows.
The BBFC’s ‘Universal’ rating says: “Characters may be seen kissing or cuddling and there may be references to sexual behaviour. However, there will be no overt focus on sexual behaviour, language or innuendo.”
As aforementioned, the same episode that was censored includes a heterosexual couple kissing. We’re sure that CN hasn’t heard the last of this and won’t for some time.