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Brits Ban Tokin’ Toons

Under pressure from regulators and the U.K. anti-smoking lobby, Turner Broadcasting will edit out scenes of cartoon characters smoking in U.K. versions of classic Hanna-Barbera cartoons, including THE FLINTSTONES, TOM AND JERRY and SCOOBY-DOO, according to various news outlets.

In all, more than 1,700 episodes will be re-edited after the Office of Communications (Ofcom) received a complaint about two TOM AND JERRY toons "Texas Tom" and "Tennis Chumps" which aired on Turner-owned Boomerang.

In a statement, the company said, "Turner recognizes that it is not suitable for cartoons aimed at children to portray smoking in a cool context and has additionally pledged to review the entire Hanna-Barbera catalog to remove scenes that appear to glamorize or encourage smoking."

Ofcom ruled that the two episodes of TOM AND JERRY were inappropriate for a children's show. Currently, Ofcom is viewing 160 other TOM AND JERRY episodes for additional offensive material.

Ofcom's rules do not allow smoking in childrens programs unless there is strong editorial justification and it must not be condoned, encouraged or glamorized before 9:00 pm.

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Rick DeMott
Animation World Network
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