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Tell It Like It Is

2007-01-11 - 5:28 p.m.

Late post today. I have been staying up WAY too late, and sleeping in too much. Last night they showed "Bride Of Chucky" and, God help me, I had to sit through it. It's more comedy than bloodshed, but the ending was a surprise.

So this morning, I got up and ran a few errands before coming home and doing some housework. While I did stuff in the living room, I popped in my new edition of "Looney Tunes Golden Collection Vol. 4". This is the DVD set that has classic Warner cartoons from all genres, cleaned and pressed for DVD.

Now, volume 3 has some cartoons that show some minorities - mostly blacks - in a not-too-nice light. (Even Bugs got into the act on some cartoons made during WWII. Don't believe me? Take a look here and here.) Volume 3 has a disclaimer on the outside of the package that says, "LOONEY TUNES GOLDEN COLLECTION VOLUME 3 is intended for the Adult Collector and May Not Be Suitable for Children". Okay. But then, at the beginning of EVERY DISC, there's an introduction by Whoopi Goldberg that basically lectures you that these aren't funny. This is a 2-minute-30-second "apology" from the studio; she mentions that this is the same studio that hired the first black animator and encouraged female voice actors. Fine. The studio can do this. They also made it impossible to skip this apology, and like I said, it's on EVERY DISC. So you HAVE to either fast-forward through it or watch it.

Well, volume 4 did something different and, I think, better. A simple frame that stays on the screen for about ten seconds:

The cartoons you are about to see are products of their time. They may depict some of the ethnic and racial prejudices that were commonplace in American society. These depictions were wrong then and are wrong today. While the following does not represent 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 these prejudices never existed.

It said basically the same thing as Whoopi's spot, but a lot shorter. And a bit classier, I think.

What I'd like to see is Warner Bros. really step up to the plate. These cartoons are, as stated, products of their times. Civics teachers could use them as a time capsule, to show attitudes and prejudices for those eras. Everyone loves Bugs Bunny - so why not show that even the beloved Wabbit wasn't above some of those attitudes. What if Warner Bros. posted a lesson plan to help teachers show this? Michael Josephson's Character Counts did one for Harry Potter one time. Surely the great WB could do something similar - to teach, as well as entertain.

As long as Whoopi isn't in it.


Break time is over. Housecleaning must continue.

And no, it's not just an excuse to watch more cartoons.


...maybe just a little...

Be seeing you.


4 comments so far

Requiel - 2007-01-11 22:01:33 -
I swear I remember seeing Rabbit stew, it says it wasn't on after 1968 but I know I saw it when I was little.


Brin - 2007-01-11 20:43:53 -
There's a tremendous and profound difference between ethinic humor and racist stereotyping; if more parents would take the trouble to teach this difference to their kids, then the stupid lectures from Warner Brothers, no matter how florid or benign, would not be needed. Oh well. When I'm Queen Of The World, I'll fix everything.


Dave - 2007-01-11 20:52:11 -
I thought Carson Kressley was Queen Of The World. Maybe we could get him to change it...


Requiel - 2007-01-11 22:09:51 -
oh wait, I was confusing it with the island one.


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