Wednesday, September 22, 2021


The case for classifying violent cartoons

On April 15, a 6-year-old girl jumped off the sixth floor of a building with an umbrella in hand in Wuhu city, East China’s Anhui province. Fortunately, she was only lightly injured.



The Chinese-language Procuratorate Daily made the following comment about the incident:
Reports suggest the girl might have been imitating something that she had seen in a cartoon. 
If true, that’s not the first case of its kind.
In March last year, a 5-year-old girl in Urumqi, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, jumped off the 11th floor of a building with an umbrella in hand She was seriously hurt.
In other cases, in April 2013, an 8-year-old boy in Lianyungang city, East China’s Jiangsu province, tied two playmates to a tree and set them on fire because he hoped to imitate a wolf who roasted sheep in a cartoon. And in March 2016, a 10-year-old girl scarred her younger sister’s face with an electric saw as she had seen a character in a cartoon do.
All these call for a classification system for animations.
Of the cartoon movies currently shown on TV and online in China, too many contain violence, verbal abuse, and other improper scenes. In a popular television series, Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf, the goat is put into a pot for cooking purposes 839 times and the wolf inflicts an electric shock on it 1,755 times.
If any child tries to imitate these, that could prove deadly.
To prevent this, many scholars and experts have long been calling for classification of cartoons, so that audiences under a certain age limit won’t see the ones with improper content.
Actually, that is a common practice in developed countries. For example, in Japan, animated movies are divided into those suitable for full ages, 12 and above, 15 and above, 18 and above, and the cartoons for children are prohibited from containing sex, violence, and verbal abuse.
The classification will not only regulate the market, but also be  helpful to parents.
Many parents think cartoons are good for children, without realising which cartoons are suitable for their child’s age.
A classification system will help them allow their children to watch cartoons suitable for their age.

Published : May 10, 2018