Russian channel to censor ‘The Simpsons’

The Simpsons Smoking

On August 31 a Russian national channel, 2×2, said that it would ban the broadcasting of “The Simpsons” cartoon episodes to conform a new regulation that prohibits scenes of violence, drinking and smoking till a late off-peak.

The 2×2 channel that is focused at young adults said AFP that it would remove episodes where the Simpsons family watches a humorous ultra-violent cartoon called “The Itchy & Scratchy Show” after the law becomes operational on Friday.

General Director Lev Makarov said that in accordance with the new regulation they cannot broadcast ‘The Itchy & Scratchy Show’ from ‘The Simpsons'” before 11 p.m.

He added that they will edit an ironic way all the programmes where there are episodes that are exposed to the new rule. For instance, they will black-out the screen and write a humorous message in a rolling caption.

Lev Makarov said that the 2×2 channel would move all its showings of another US cartoon, “South Park”, to after the watershed because of a periodic joke about one of the characters being murdered each episode.

He said that all the scenes from ‘South Park’ where ‘they killed Kenny’ should be removed until 11 pm. Thus, ‘South Park’ will be broadcasted after 11 pm.

The wide-ranging rule on “defending children from information causing harm to their health and development” says that scenes promoting youth to try drugs, tobacco or alcohol or admitting violence must not be displayed until 11 pm.

It got wide criticism from Russia’s Internet companies with corrections signed into law by President Vladimir Putin in July that permit the state to make a black list of websites and urge their closure.

Earlier the 2×2 channel has met legal difficulties over its cartoons.

In 2008, Moscow prosecutors charged 2×2 with extremism over an episode of “South Park” on the occasion of Christmas after a plaint was filed by members of a conservative group, but the charges were ultimately declined.

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