It’s easy to make fun of TV animation execs, but it’s even easier to make fun of the twits who work at the networks’ Broadcast Standards & Practices divisions. These low-lifes have done more to ruin TV animation and suck fun and entertainment out of cartoons as anybody else has since the Seventies. Speak to anybody who has worked in TV animation and they’re likely to have countless stories about the inane changes and arbitrary cuts that S&P people like to make. Here’s an ARTICLE that lists a bunch of imbecilic changes for an episode of THE TICK such as “It will not be acceptable for the Four-Legged Man to be seriously injured with ‘two splinted legs … a neck brace and a head bandage.’ He may be prevented from teaching his class due to some minor injury, or for another reason, such as a common cold or flu or car trouble.” More recently, Eddie Mort and Lili Chin mention a ridiculous cut requested on their show MUCHA LUCHA:
“The note we received from Standards and Practices was to replace the Spanish word, pulpo, with its English translation: octopus. Why? Because they thought pulpo sounded like (ahem) a kid-inappropriate word …”
I racked my brain and couldn’t think of any inappropriate word that even remotely sounds like pulpo. Other readers of their blog couldn’t figure it out either so Eddie finally revealed in their comments section that THIS was the offensive word S&P thought it sounded like. Perhaps they should also ban anybody from using the verb “put” on the show from now on. That’s far more likely to be confused with the word than pulpo.
But that’s nothing compared to a change that the creators of Comedy Central’s upcoming animated series DRAWN TOGETHER told audiences about at last month’s San Diego Comic Con. They said that one of the characters in their show said something along the lines of, “Wow, that’s almost as bad as the Holocaust and Slavery.” Now a sensible request from Comedy Central’s S&P might have been that such a comment was out of line and that the creators couldn’t compare a trivial event in their show to two horrible tragedies like the Holocaust and American Slavery. S&P’s note however was that the comparison to Slavery was quite fine, but the Holocaust reference had to be removed because Slavery wasn’t as bad as the Holocaust. Somebody should really compile a book of these gems.