Turner Broadcasting is scouring more than 1,500 classic Hanna-Barbera cartoons, including old favorites "Tom and Jerry," "The Flinstones" and "Scooby-Doo," to edit out scenes that glamorize smoking.
Curiosity didn't kill the cat. Overzealous nanny-staters (and whatever they're called in the U.K.) did. Already, one of Tom's owners in some cartoons had her "black"-sounding voice dubbed over so as to prevent offense. Now the cigarettes are being purged. Where are the people always screaming about freedom of speech? About censorship?
Yes, I'm being a bit histrionic here, but I watched hour upon hour of "Tom & Jerry" growing up -- the classic cartoons, not this watered down garbage being shown today -- and it never occurred to me to light up a smoke because of Tom (or to shoot flaming arrows at a mouse, for that matter). I always like to grouse that kids these days are getting stupider and stupider. ... Maybe I was right. As one blogger quoted in the Reuters story pointed out, maybe we should start going back and photoshopping Winston Churchill's photos. Heck, maybe Reuters (or "E.T."-altering Steven Spielberg) could lend a hand.