Subscribers to Amazon Prime will now see an ethnic and racial prejudice warning before watching “Tom and Jerry” cartoons, which some have argued is too politically correct.
The warning reads: “Tom and Jerry shorts may depict some ethnic and racial prejudices that were once commonplace in American society. Such depictions were wrong then and are wrong today.”
In the past, the show has been criticized for its portrayal of women, smoking, racial stereotypes and cannibalism. The cartoon’s portrayal of a black maid known as Mammy Two Shoes and some characters who appear in blackface have also been criticized.
The creators of “Tom and Jerry” have addressed racial issues in the past, even adding an intro by Whoopi Goldberg to the “Tom and Jerry Spotlight Collection: Volume 2”. In the intro, Goldberg explains why the humor, which is considered offensive, was not cut from the cartoon collection.
Despite Amazon’s attempt at sensitivity, some fans of the show have argued that the company has taken political correctness too far.
“Watched Tom and Jerry since the 60s this is the 1st time I’ve ever heard the R word in relation to it,” one fan wrote on Twitter. “PC madness!”
Cultural commentator and professor of sociology at the University of Kent Frank Furedi argued that the warning shows a “sad” tendency to read history backwards by judging those in the past by present social values.
“Tom and Jerry” has existed for over 70 years, won a number of Academy Awards and has been re-launched several times since its original airing.