Listen to Cartoons Radio on iHeartRadio

Cartoons Radio

The premise of “Tom and Jerry,” the 75-year-old madcap slapstick cartoon about a feuding cat and mouse, is as innocuous as it is endlessly entertaining. But as with any show that was created in the 1940s, some of its tropes could be deemed politically incorrect or offensive today. You’d be hard-pressed to find a character like Mammy Two Shoes, a heavyset black maid whose face is obscured in all but one “Tom and Jerry” episode, on the Disney Channel today.

So while Amazon has recently added “Tom and Jerry” to its video streaming service, they made sure to include a racism disclaimer: a warning that “Tom and Jerry” contains “some ethnic and racial prejudices that were once commonplace in American society.”

Characters like Mammy Two Shoes “were wrong then and are wrong today,” the warning reads, incensing some fans of the seven-time Academy-Award winning show. “I loved Tom and Jerry as a kid and it never made me think poorly of ethnic minorities or want to smoke cigars,” one tweeted. Another “watched Tom and Jerry since the 60s this is the 1st time I’ve ever heard the R word in relation to it. PC madness!”

Meanwhile, British cultural commentator and sociology professor Frank Furedideclared Amazon’s warning “empty-headed” and excoriated a kind of “false piousness” and culture of censorship that “seems to be sweeping cultural life.”

Cartoon historian Jerry Beck agrees. “Amazon seems to have forgotten that ‘Tom and Jerry’ was made for adults as much as it was for children,” Beck told The Daily Beast. “[Amazon] should be showcasing ‘Tom and Jerry’ among classic movies in a way that gives them cultural context,” he said. “The advisory is really meant to warn parents that the cartoon may include things like smoking or the black housekeeper that they might have to explain to their children.”

It’s hardly the first time the beloved cat and mouse frenemies have run into controversy. In 2013, two episodes were pulled from the second installment of Warner Brothers’ Golden Collection because they featured Tom and Jerry “blacked up.”

Read The Full Article On The Daily Beast

More articles from The Daily Beast:

© 2014 Newsweek/Daily Beast Company LLC

 PHOTO: Getty Images