They’ve been killing each other for decades, but Russian censorship managed to hit them at one stroke - famous cat and mouse will be cut from the Simpsons for Russian broadcast.
Russian television endures big changes these day because of the new law aimed at protecting children and young adults from “information detrimental to their health and development”. Acording to it, all TV-shows must be divided into age categories like 6+, 12+ or 18+. Images of violence, bad and addictive habits like smoking or drinking, unlawful behavior, swearing, gambling and engaging in sexual activities falls into 18+ category, which obliges Russian TV channels to broadcast such programs not earlier than 11 p.m.
To escape big fines and taking off the air, the channels go to the extreme. We have already told you about the famous Soviet cartoon to lose some scenes with a smoking "bad guy". Now, the U.S. animation is also in danger. Popular American animated series the Simpsons will lose The Itchy and Scratchy show – an integral show-within-the-show piece parodying the traditional cartoons about a bad guy chasing a good guy.
Based on the Tom and Jerry series, The Itchy and Scratchy Show features an anthropomorphic duo of a blue mouse and a black cat repeatedly killing one another in a violent way.
Lev Makarov, the director of 2x2, the channel that broadcasts the Simpsons in Russia, has promised to retouch in an ironic way all the programs which include scenes that fall under the new law.
Another big hit for 2x2 is the South Park’s unfortunate Kenny, who is banned to die every episode, thanks to the new law, as well as the word "Bastards!" which is said after each of his multiple deaths.
Understandably, the law has caused a lot of controversy. Many activists, actors, cartoonists and bloggers have already spoken out against the law – which they consider overly harsh. Russia's TV bosses are also worried. It is still unclear if the law will undergo any changes but it is already obvious the Russian television will never be the same.
Author: Julia Alieva