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Happy Tree Friends Banned In Russia

HAPPY TREE FRIENDS and THE ADVENTURES OF BIG JEFF have been taken off a Russian adult animation channel after the government deemed them too violent, VARIETY reports.

Moscow-based 2X2 broadcasts mostly foreign adult-oriented animation around the clock, and shows warnings that their programming is aimed at older teenagers and adults.

An official complaint from government watchdog Rossvyazokhrankulutra that the cartoons were too cruel and violent started the situation.

However, the channel's general manager Roman Sarkisov told VARIETY that the cartoons were nearing the end of their licensing period and Russian viewers "did not get it" anyway.

"Rather than argue we took them off air, although any television criminal drama in Russia is a hundred times more violent than these cartoons," Sarkisov told VARIETY.

The station will appeal the decision after obtaining an expert report on the content of the two series, Sarkisov said.

"Mainstream viewers in Russia tend to be afraid of something they do not understand. The Russian public is not so civilized as in Europe. They are rather conservative," he added.

Both shows had been licensed from San Francisco-based Mondo Media and will be replaced by "childish and stupid cartoons," Sarkisov said.

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