Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Piglet Banned by Bigots. Or Not.

There is a story currently doing the rounds of the press to the effect that
TURKEY'S public television TRT, controlled by the Islamist-rooted government, has barred the popular Walt Disney cartoon Winnie the Pooh from air because it has a piglet as one of its main heroes, the Turkish press reported today.
Several other cartoons featuring pigs also failed to win the green light from TRT management, according to the left-wing Cumhuriyet daily. The station initially considered scissoring the scenes showing Piglet, but abandoned the idea because the small pink-skinned character, one of Winnie the Pooh's closest friends, appeared too often, Cumhuriyet and the mass-circulation Sabah newspaper said. TRT officials were not immediately available for comment. Pigs are regarded as unclean by Muslims and Islam prohibits the consumption of pork.

However, all is not as it seems, since the next day
Turkish Radio and Television (TRT) said late Saturday media reports that "Winnie the Pooh" and other cartoons featuring pigs had been barred "are untrue and aim to discredit the institution". In a statement carried by the Anatolia news agency, TRT said it had acquired the exclusive right to broadcast Walt Disney's cartoons and movies in Turkey but added, "the Walt Disney materials have not been acquired yet... (and) therefore the cartoon 'Winnie the Pooh' does not exist in TRT records and archives". Islam regards pigs as unclean and prohibits the consumption of pork.

EoR likes how the reporter felt compelled to repeat that least sentence from the previous release (slightly rewritten to make it appear original).

So who is correct? Is an unreal, fantasy creation offensive to Islam? And if so, why aren't all cartoon characters banned, given they tend to wander around with very litte clothing on (particularly, for some reason, trousers)? Was the original claim a propaganda coup for the left wing press? Or is the repudiation accompanied by loud noises of backpedalling? EoR, not being a resident in Turkey, doesn't know, but he's amused by how quickly "facts" can be propagated by sloppy journalists and the internet. That's the way MMR scares are promulgated, and the "truth" of homeopathy and psychics.

Mind you, EoR considers the Disneyfication of A A Milne's works an abomination purely on artistic grounds alone.

1 comment:

  1. This may be an urban myth but films get banned or cut all the time for apparently trivial reasons.

    Malaysia's banned list includes Babe, Babe: Pig in the City, How to Eat Fried Worms, American Pie, Dead & Breakfast, Cannibal Holocaust, Spider-Man and Spider's Web. Suggests an aversion to all invertebrate and culinary topics.;Mal

    Good article on the plight of the censor here:


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