When I was in fifth grade, my Social Studies teacher showed an old cartoon where for some reason the African characters were over drawn, extremely black, and had bugged out eyes. As one of the few Black students in the class, I was confused and upset. I went home and told my mother who called the teacher and basically shamed her for showing the video. The teacher promptly apologized.
As a child, I was perplexed by these images and wondered who would dare draw Black people in this manner and reproduce it? It was commonplace for some old timey cartoons to lean heavily on offensive stereotypes and today’s children might not be prepared for these images and the impact they might have on them.
Amazon Prime is seeking to change that by providing a cautionary statement about depictions of racism before the start of “Tom and Jerry“.
In a screenshot above, “Tom and Jerry: The Complete Second Volume” is given the following warning:
“Tom & 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.
Some people were not pleased with this decision and of course took to Twitter to express their displeasure. One fan called it “Political correctness gone mad.” Another added, “So, Tom is basically a racist, sexist, chain-smoking cat. COME ON.” Well to some people, yes.
The “Tom and Jerry” cartoon has come under fire in the past for depictions of blackface and appearances by the maid, Mammy Two Shoes.
Kudos to Amazon for this decision.