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Posted at 10:45 AM ET, 08/22/2006

Tom & Jerry, Bad Influences?

By Liz Kelly

Today we take a step back from the world of celebrity to pay a visit to the world of cartoons. It's okay, you'll be comfortable here. There's not much difference: a cast of exaggerated characters all clamoring for your attention span. The only difference? The cartoons are one-dimensional. Oh, wait.

Well, at least they're not smoking. (Courtesy Hanna-Barbera)

In particular, yesterday afternoon I ran across a story about Turner Broadcasting which is currently scouring its catalog of 1,500 hours of Hanna-Barbera cartoons to remove scenes that "glamorize" smoking. The move is in response to one viewer's complaint about an episode of "Tom and Jerry."

A Turner spokesperson said the viewer complained about a cartoon in which Tom lights a cigarette in an attempt to impress a female cat and that only cartoons "where smoking could be deemed to be cool or glamorized," would be cut and that scenes in which villians smoke will remain untouched.

Hopefully, this move will save a generation of young humanoids from trying to woo cats with tobacco. Unfortunately, those same children are still in danger of dropping anvils on one another's heads, putting each other's tails in electrical sockets, cutting each other in half, poisoning one another, exploding each other with dynamite and other sundry weapons available from the diabolical Acme corporation. Oh, and cross dressing.

What do you think? Should cartoons be sanitized for a younger generation or preserved as a snapshot of the era in which they were created? Take today's poll, then share your thoughts in the comment section.

Update: As of 10:05 p.m. ET, only 37 of 906 poll respondents think the cartoons should be sanitized.

By Liz Kelly  | August 22, 2006; 10:45 AM ET
Categories:  Pop Culture, TV  
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