Jump to content

Is Tom and Jerry Racist?

Recommended Posts

That's got your attention, hasn't it.

 

Amazon Prime have put a health warning on the second series of Tom and Jerry stating that:

 

"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."

 

Are they right? Should we judge a 70 year old cartoon by current standards, or should we enjoy it as a very funny cartoon and an intriguing piece of social history?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Started watching Tom and Jerry again when my grandson came along. He is six now so been watching for a couple of years.

 

Don't know about racist, but they are definitely violent.

 

They are also very funny and most kids can differentiate between reality and showbiz.

 

Not quite sure where they're getting racist from, the lady who keeps throwing Tom out is black but apart from being terrified of mice she's quite a strong character.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's not racist. Certainly not a problem. As a kid I thought the black woman owned the house & was in charge! She's black- so what! Perhaps her boss was black too!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And if they hadn't depicted Mammy as a black women Lillian Randolph would have been out of a job.

 

People that see racism when they watch Tom and Jerry should get a life.

Edited by firemanbob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Started watching Tom and Jerry again when my grandson came along. He is six now so been watching for a couple of years.

 

Don't know about racist, but they are definitely violent.

 

They are also very funny and most kids can differentiate between reality and showbiz.

 

Not quite sure where they're getting racist from, the lady who keeps throwing Tom out is black but apart from being terrified of mice she's quite a strong character.

 

It's violent yes, but way less gross than a lot of cartoons aimed at kids at the moment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
And if they hadn't depicted Mammy as a black women Lillian Randolph would have been out of a job.

 

People that see racism when they watch Tom and Jerry should get a life.

 

Correct, I was watching Roadrunner with the grandson yesterday and we were both in hysterics, how many more ways can that coyote find to kill himself?

 

When he was about 4 we were watching 'Jake and the Never land Pirates', at the beginning Jake turns to camera and asks 'Will you help us?' I say 'yes' the grandson looks at me in disgust and says " it's only on the telly grandad".

 

If children can see the difference between reality and make belief why can't adults cop on?

 

I'm half English half Irish, in cartoons the English tend to be portrayed as slightly gay fops or villains - or both, like Captain Hook - the Irish as thick cops or drunks with ridiculous accents.

 

Who gives a crap, it's a cartoon, as in, not real.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can any one remember the Black and White Minstrel Show, and the Golly on the jam jar.

 

I thought the golly was removed because it was a racist symbol. Also the Black and White Minstrel Show was also classed as being racist. My mum use to love the music from that show.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think so.

 

Song of the South however....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

"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."

 

 

 

I'd argue that they weren't wrong then, otherwise they wouldn't have been acceptable on mainstream media. Morals change.

 

I found this one the other day, it's a short US propaganda Disney cartoon against the Nazis featuring Donald Duck. The artwork is just great, but one thing that stood out is that whilst the cartoon criticises the Nazi master race ideology, it contains a very racially stereotyped portrayal of the Japanese.

 

Take a look - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mzaYiMciIMY

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
.........

I thought the golly was removed because it was a racist symbol. ..........

 

No. The golly was removed in retaliation to Idi Amin taking the queen's portrait off the Ugandan stamps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Judging historical works of fiction with the current accepted views of society is a slippery slope.

 

Some of those Tom and Jerry cartoons are 70 years old, made in a time when segregation was still alive and well in the U.S.

 

Some of these Tom and Jerry cartoons also depict smoking and boozing, but Amazon don't seem bothered by that, so who is the message there to protect:

 

a) the parent who wants to decide if it's suitable to watch

b) Amazon, covering themselves in case they get sued

 

The answer of course, is b).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember seeing a scene in Tom and Jerry some years back in which Tom destroys the house, the house collapses and Tom emerges from the rubble with his face blackened by coal from the coal cellar (and if I remember correctly he also for some reason had bigger than usual brown lips like a few stereotypical black cartoon characters) just as the black lady Mama returns. She says to Tom "have you seen a cat around here?" Tom replies "no ma'm, I ain't seen no cat, no way, no how" spoken in the kind of accent you'd expect from a black character. Whether this is racist or not I don't know, I personally don't find it offensive but I suppose I could see why some black people would. This is the only example of supposed racism I've seen in Tom and Jerry and upon subsequent viewing on Cartoon Network this scene was edited out of reruns of the episode.

 

Like someone mentioned above, apart from being scared of mice, the black lady seems like a strong character. She keeps her house in check and certainly demands Toms respect.

Edited by savage86
spelling

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.