15 Controversially Banned Cartoons

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From offensive lines that had to be changed to cartoon scenes traumatising kids across the world, we count 15 cartoons forcefully changed or even banned because of their controversial content

15 – Family Guy “Abortion”,

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  • Abortion is a touchy subject in the US, so when Family Guy decided to take it on, the episode was quickly banned from airing on TV
  • The episode’s plot was essentially: Lois becomes a surrogate mother for a friend, but when the friend is killed Lois and Peter have to decided if they should abort or give the baby up for adoption
  • Peter agrees on the abortion, but quickly has his mind changed when he agrees that abortion is murder – Lois has the abortion anyway

14 – Spongebob,

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  • In 2005, there was a religious group in America threatening to take down the show – their argument being that Spongebob was a gay icon because he was too cheerful all the time and they didn’t like that
  • Likewise in 2006, China was banned from showing Spongebob on their airways – not because of the content or censorship issues, but simply because it was a foreign show in a prime time TV slot

13 – Aladdin,

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  • Of course, this wasn’t a banned episode, but they did have to censor a line at the very start of the movie just to get it released
  • In the opening song, a character describes Arabia as a place where they cut off your ear if they don’t like your face – American-Arabs immediately objected to this stereotype
  • Instead the line became: where it’s flat and immense and the heat is intense, but kept the line about Arabia being a barbaric place to the dismay of critics

12 – Pokemon Episode “Computer Soldier Porygon”,

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  • A well known incident that occurred in Japan in 1997 – the episode “Computer Soldier Porygon” showed intense flashing blue and red lights on the screen for seconds at a time
  • As soon as this episode aired, people began complaining of blurred vision, dizziness and nausea – some lost consciousness
  • According to Japan’s Fire Defense Agency, over 600 people were taken to hospital with 2 remaining there for weeks on end – the episode was promptly banned

11 – Ren & Stimpy “Man’s Best Friend”,

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  • This is the cartoon that merged children and adult humour mixed with surrealism – and although the creators were constantly fighting with the censors to keep their jokes in the show, one particular episode pushed it too far
  • “Man’s Best Friend” shows Ren brutally beating another character called George Liquor with an oar, George’s eye protruding from its socket, Ren telling Stimpy that he’s next
  • It was so intense for a kid’s show that rumour has it Ren & Stimpy’s creator was fired for making the show too frightening and dramatic for children

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