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Ghostshrimp Exposes the Hypocrisy of Cartoon Network

Ghostshrimp (aka Dan James), an artist on Adventure Time and The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack, is currently developing his own seven-minute pilot for Cartoon Network called Mars Safari. This is a peek at some of the pitch materials:

A few months back, Ghostshrimp posted some of the pilot’s insanely fussy notes he received from Cartoon Network’s standards & practices. They include such gems as:

The gang would need to be wearing seatbelts in this car.

This pooping bit would need Rob [Sorcher]’s okay before we elevate for Stu [Snyder]’s approval.

We’d need to see color models for the Alien guys here. There may be some issues with them stealing the car radio as it could play like an offensive stereotype

The references to the Afterlife would need Rob’s okay before we elevate for Stu’s approval.

Mister Nuggets suggesting that Bull Goose has mental problems would need Rob’s okay before we elevate for Stu’s approval.

It raises the question, If Cartoon Network is worried about such trivial matters, why would they greenlight a pilot for someone who openly jokes about incest and rape on his Facebook fan page? Ghostshrimp’s latest Facebook update asks, “But what would you do if you woke up and your mom was giving you a hand job?”

An earlier Facebook posting, which appears to have since been deleted, asked, “If you could rape anybody, ever, anywhere, who would it be?” This is a screengrab of the post (click for a larger version):


It’s the height of hypocrisy for Cartoon Network to be so finicky over innocuous gags expressed in an animator’s cartoon, and yet turn a blind eye to a show creator’s public persona, which would be considered genuinely offensive by many people. The art we create is a reflection of our values and principles (whether we intend it to be or not), and when someone treats serious subject matter in a flippant manner, that attitude will inevitably seep into their work, too.

This is fine, of course, if Cartoon Network embraced the crude ideas of the artists they hired and if they’d given Ghostshrimp a long leash to explore his unconventional sense of humor. But the standards & practices notes tell a different story: Cartoon Network goes to great lengths to preserve a veneer of decency, while ignoring the fact that some of their show creators are anything but decent.