Amazon and Apple placed disclaimers on Tom and Jerry cartoons, warning viewers of racist content.
A message accompanying the cartoons on Amazon Prime Instant explains that the content is — how do we put this gently? — a little bit racist. Here is the full disclaimer from Amazon:
Tom & Jerry shorts may depict some ethnic and racial prejudices that were once commonplace in American society. Such depictions were wrong then and are wrong today. While the following does not represent the Warner Bros. view of today's society, these cartoons are being presented as they were originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as claiming that these prejudices never existed.
A similar message also now accompanies digital downloads of the show on iTunes:
The cartoons have been around for more than 70 years and this isn't the first time people have called for action to be taken about some of the stereotypes depicted in the cat and mouse videos. Whoopi Goldberg once recorded a disclaimer that preceded a previous collection. In the video, she explained the cartoon's problematic use of blackface and the appearance of a black character named Mammy Two Shoes (watch the video with Goldberg below). Via The Daily Dot:
Tom and Jerry isn't the only beloved cartoon with offensive and racist material. Looney Tunes's Speedy Gonzales was seen as portraying negative and offensive Mexican stereotypes and was taken off the air for several years before fans successfully campaigned to get Speedy back on the air. Those cartoons are now packaged with a similar warning.
According to the Huffington Post, as expected plenty of people are freaking out because the PC Police is coming for their freeDUMBS or something. The tweets and hashtags I saw were a mishmash of "get the hell over it already"s and "that's not racist"s. But the clear winner has to go to the #chidhoodruined people who yes, actually believe a few sentences absolutely are going to destroy their enjoyment of an old cartoon where a cat tries to catch a mouse.
Image via Warner Bros.